After weeks of threatening to break the saffron alliance if it was not allotted an adequate number of seats, the Republican Party of India (Athawale) has now agreed to contest from a fewer number of seats.
The decision was taken after RPI chief Ramdas Athawale met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at the latter’s residence on Tuesday. Thackeray told Athawale it was impossible to give the RPI more than five seats.
Thackeray is reported to have apprised him of the difficulty in coming to a seat-sharing arrangement with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and hence allotting more seats to the RPI was out of the question.
While talking to the media after the meeting, Athawale spoke of adjustments. “I am ready to sacrifice a few seats and in return, we can be accommodated in the legislative councils and state corporations,” said Athawale. “Uddhav told me that he would think of giving us five seats,” he added. Just last week, Athawale warned the alliance partners that he would not settle for anything less than 10 seats.
Athawale said the purpose of his visit was to ensure that the Sena-BJP alliance remains firm. “We need this alliance so we can come to power easily, otherwise it would be difficult,” he added.
The RPI chief will meet BJP leaders on Wednesday where he will demand five seats from their quota, which the BJP is unlikely to give. BJP leaders have been firm that the RPI is the Sena’s ally and hence it was Uddhav’s responsibility to accommodate it.
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