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Smaller allies may part ways with BJP

mumbai Updated: May 25, 2016 06:29 IST

MUMBAI: Following the BJP-led state government’s failure to give them ministerial berths, smaller parties are threatening to part ways in the Zilla Parishad and civic polls of 2017.

The Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) said they were not “beggars demanding posts” while the Republican Party of India (RPI) said they would not hesitate to join hands with the Shiv Sena.

In a press meet held by the RSP, they announced that they would contest the civic polls independently. “We want to expand our party and hence will contest maximum seats across the state,” said Mahadev Jankar, president, RSP. The RPI was angered by the BJP asking its chief Ramdas Athawale to move back to state politics if he wanted a ministerial berth. “I am not interested in state politics. My focus is to work at the national level. The BJP should make me a minister in the Central cabinet,” said Athawale. Despite the BJP’s written commitment that the RPI would get 10 % share of power, it has not kept its word, he added.

The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) said that alliances in local body polls would be decided by local leaders.

In the assembly polls, the BJP allied with smaller polls, reaping rich dividends. While the smaller parties could not win seats, their supporters voted for the BJP, making it the largest party in the state. However, in the last two years, the BJP failed to accommodate them, fuelling their anger. Additionally, the BJP accommodated the Sena to secure the majority, though both parties fought the polls separately. As the Sena and the BJP are planning to contest the 2017 polls separately, there are indications that the BJP will try to placate the smaller parties.

First Published: May 25, 2016 06:29 IST