While the Shiv Sena-BJP led Mahayuti alliance is beginning to heat up with friction amongst the smaller parties over seat-sharing ahead of the state assembly polls, Hatkanangle MP and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) chief Raju Shetty has rubbished rumours of his party leaving the union to contest the elections independently.
SSS chief Raju Shetty said the party is demanding 38 seats in the state assembly elections. File pic
“We are demanding 38 seats in the upcoming state assembly elections, including the Baramati and Indapur seats in Pune district,” said Shetty, while denying that his party was upset with BJP and Shiv Sena over being sidelined in the seat allocation. “After the Lok Sabha elections, Mahayuti members did not meet to discuss the said issue. However, we will take the right decision only after having two meetings with Mahayuti,” he added.
“It is not mandatory for the other members in Mahayuti to agree with our seat sharing demand,” said Shetty. However, he also mentioned that his demand was not unreasonable, since BJP and Shiv Sena had not performed well in 2009 in several assembly segments where his party could have brought better results.
Shetty was in the city on Tuesday for a meeting with Rashtriya Samaj Paksha founder Mahadev Jankar and the leader of Shivsangram organisation, Vinayak Mete. Both parties are also part of Mahayuti. “It was an unofficial meeting to ensure that our party’s seat demands would not overlap with Jankar and Mete’s demands for their respective parties,” he said.
On another note, the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana will conduct a movement in the city on Saturday, to protest against the state government’s policy on cooperatives. “Many cooperatives including sugar, milk and cooperative banks have shut down due to lack of funds. However, the state is least bothered about them. We have decided to conduct a protest to call the state’s attention to the issue, said party chief Raju Shetty, adding that Anna Hazare would also participate in the protest.