New Delhi: Union Social Justice Minister and RPI (A) president Ramdas Athawale on Sunday expressed his displeasure over his party not spared a single seat by NDA allies BJP and Shiv Sena while announcing their alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Threatening to withdraw from alliance with the BJP, Athawale said, “If someone tries to corner me, I have the strength to corner them. This is true that when BJP and Shiv Sena decided to join hands, when the announcement of alliance was made in presence of Amit Shah, they should have called me.”
“The fact that Shiv Sena and BJP came together, leaving Republican Party in air, sent a wrong message to the nation. Not even a single seat was given to RPI. Still this can be improved, our demand is not that big,” he added.
On Saturday, Athawale had said that in politics, “doors are always open” but he still wanted the next government to be formed under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.
Overcoming their strained ties, the BJP and Shiv Sena on February 18 announced a seat-sharing pact for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Maharashtra. The BJP will contest 25 and the Shiv Sena 23 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.
The two parties said they will contest equal number of seats, after allotting allies their share, in Assembly elections which are due this year.
In the recent months, the BJP has been struggling with the issue of dissenting allies in several states. Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP parted ways with the saffron party last year over the issue of seat sharing for the Lok Sabha elections, and later joined RJD-led alliance in Bihar.
Similarly, in Uttar Pradesh, the party’s relationship with its allies seems to be heavily strained.
While the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) has been dissenting for some time, now the “trusted ally” Apna Dal has raised the banner of revolt and is looking for greener pastures. SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar, the Minister for Disabled and Backward Welfare in the Yogi Adityanath government, has been vocal for long about his growing disenchantment with the BJP over myriad issues.