Republican Party of India chief Ramdas Athawale today termed as "disgraceful" the decision of Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan not to attend a function of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Nagpur. "Whatever the chief minister has done is very wrong. But he knows that he will not remain on the chair after Assembly elections, and that is why he has forgotten all state protocols. His decision is a disgrace on Maharashtra," said Athawale, whose party is one of the constituents of 'Mahayuti' or grand alliance led by Shiv Sena and BJP.
Athawale was addressing reporters here on the sidelines of inducting Vilas Tayade of United Secular Congress Party into the RPI. Chavan has decided against attending Modi's function where he is scheduled to perform 'bhumi-pujan' of Metro project, in the wake of audiences booing chief ministers of Congress-ruled states at the functions of the prime minister of late.
At a function in Solapur on Saturday, where the Prime Minister inaugurated four-laned National Highway Number 9, Chavan had to stop speaking midway as the alleged BJP supporters started chanting Modi's name. Observing that it is the responsibility of "big brothers" (BJP-Sena) to maintain the alliance, Athawale said that RPI has given a list of 57 seats from where it wants to field candidates for upcoming Assembly elections.
"The BJP and Shiv Sena are big brothers. They should therefore take care of smaller parties. It is their responsibility to keep the alliance working and hence out of the list of 57 seats that we would like to contest, they should give us at least 20 seats, that are winnable, and at least 5 out of 20 seats should be in Mumbai," he said.