Congress seals SP deal, Athawale undecided

  • Naresh Kamath, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 27, 2014 01:03 IST

With the major alliances going bust, smaller parties are now in demand with the Shiv Sena, BJP, Congress and NCP lining up to woo them.

Ministerial berths, additional assembly seats, nominations to the legislative council and representations in the state-run corporations are among the incentives being doled out to smaller parties.

After months of ignoring its overtures, the Congress struck a deal with the Samajwadi Party (SP) within hours of the NCP ending their 15-year alliance.

“Initially we had demanded 15 seats but a deal was struck for eight,” said Abdul Qadir Chaudhary. spokesperson, SP.

The BJP has already sealed support from three of the major allies of the erstwhile Mahayuti — the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) as well as Shiv Sangram.

Republican Party of India (RPI) chief Ramdas Athawale is undecided on whether to ally with the Shiv Sena or the BJP.

“The Shiv Sena offered me the post of deputy chief minister along with seats in the legislative council and state corporations,” said Athawale. “The BJP has offered me a Union cabinet berth.”

Athawale has also upped his demand from eight to 25 seats.

The smaller parties assume significance as they have pockets of influence in various regions of the state.

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