RSP won’t fight state polls on BJP symbol
The Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, one of the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena allies, on Tuesday announced they won’t fight the state Assembly elections, likely in October, on the BJP’s symbol, lotus.
RSP candidates had contested the 2014 Assembly polls on their party symbol. RSP’s founder and state minister Mahadev Jankar said, “I would not talk for other alliance partners, but we will not contest the election on the BJP’s symbol.” Reacting to the statement, water resources minister Girish Mahajan said, “We want smaller parties to field candidates on our symbol to better their chances of winning. We will try to convince leaders from these parties to do so.”
Jankar had refused to be re-nominated to the legislative council as a BJP member last year. He had served his first term as a BJP member in the upper house.
Most of the smaller allies, including RSP, Vinayak Mete’s Shiv Sangram, Sadabhau Khot’s Rayat Kranti Sanghatana, Ramdas Athawale-led faction of Republican Party of India, are with the BJP when it comes to sharing of seats. If these parties agree to field candidates on the BJP’s symbol, they will add to the tally of the BJP, a move that may not go down well with the Sena.
Although Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray said there was no tension between the two major ruling parties, the Sena is unlikely to accept the seat-sharing formula proposed by the BJP. Chandrakant Patil, BJP leader, has said it has been decided that after conceding 18 seats to smaller allies, the two parties will contest 135 seats each.