Jalna | Union minister and Republican Party of India (RPI) leader Ramdas Athawale on Thursday expressed his displeasure over the BJP and Shiv Sena not sparing any seat for his party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Athawale’s party is part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function here, he said, “I took efforts for the BJP-Sena patch-up and worked for the alliance. But they left us in the lurch by not giving any seat to the RPI.”
“I had demanded Mumbai South-Central (Lok Sabha) seat, but they refused to give any seat,” the Dalit leader added.
Mumbai South-Central constituency is currently represented by Shiv Sena’s Rahul Shewale.
Leaving behind the rancour, the BJP and the Shiv Sena on Monday announced a seat-sharing pact for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Maharashtra. As per the seat-sharing deal, the BJP will contest 25 seats and Shiv Sena 23 of 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Athawale also hit out at the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi led by Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, saying the front was keeping people from the deprived castes away from power.
“The future of Ambedkar’s front is bleak. Though it has managed to gather large number of people at its public meetings, it won’t get translated into votes,” he said.
“The alliance of BJP, Sena and RPI is stronger than his (Ambedkar’s) Aghadi,” the minister said.
He also asked the Vanchit Aghadi leaders to join the RPI. “If you want to be in power, join me,” he said.