Republican Party of India (A), BJP's dalit ally in Central and state governments, will contest on 19 seats after both the parties arrived at a 'consensus'. "Though I am not satisfied with the number of seats given to us, my party has decided to go ahead with the alliance and contest the election jointly," RPI (A) chief and Union minister Ramdas Athawale announced in Mumbai on Monday.
The BJP and RPI (A) held many rounds of meetings in the last two days. The 227-member BMC will go to polls on February 21. With allocation of 19 seats, RPI (A) has cornered the maximum number of seats as a BJP ally in the election. Athawale has released the list of party candidates who will contest on the RPI(A) symbol. "Out of 19, there are 12 women candidates representing RPI (A)," he said. Monday was the last day of the withdrawal of nominations.
While the negotiations were being on between allied parties, BJP had already fielded its candidates on the seats that are now allotted to RPI(A). "As many as 65 candidates had also filed their nominations as RPI (A) candidates, which have been withdrawn in due time from both the parties (BJP and RPI-A)," Athawale said.