The Republican Party of India (RPI) appears to be angry with alliance partner Shiv Sena for ignoring its demand to field its leader Ramdas Athawale from Mumbai’s south central Lok Sabha constituency. Instead, the Sena leadership wants to field former chief minister Manohar Joshi from the constituency.
This has irked RPI leaders who feel that after the Sena-BJP-RPI alliance won the 2012 municipal elections, they have been not been given positions of power at any level.
“Our cadres are not given posts even at the ward level. Our alliance partners are taking us for granted,” said RPI leader Siddharth Kasare.
“They are not even holding coordination committee meetings with us for the past four months,” he said.
The cadres are pushing the party leadership to drive a hard bargain for the forthcoming 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly elections. This time, the RPI has staked claim over four Lok Sabha and 35 assembly seats across the state for the 2014 elections. Athawale said that the issue of seat-sharing had to be trashed out. “We have been asking the Sena-BJP to hold the meeting fast to decide the seats so that we can start working for the elections,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Sena dismissed reports that it was having problems with RPI.
“We are working very harmoniously and RPI will get its due share after we come to power in the assembly polls,” said Sena legislator Ravindra Waikar.