Now, smaller partners of the Mahayuti threaten to quit

With the BJP and Shiv Sena insisting on 130 and 150 seats respectively, the other partners say they will quit if they don’t get 18 seats

When the BJP and Shiv Sena decided that they don’t want to go below 130 and 150 seats respectively, they seem to have forgotten to factor in the other partners, who now say that staying within the alliance is going to be a struggle for them unless they get a certain number of seats.

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) chief Raju Shetti shows the victory sign outside Matoshree after meeting Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray late last evening. Pic/ Pradeep Dhivar
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) chief Raju Shetti shows the victory sign outside Matoshree after meeting Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray late last evening. Pic/ Pradeep Dhivar

On Wednesday morning, leaders of other alliance partners of the Mahayuti, especially Raju Shetti (Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana), Mahadev Jankar (Rashtriya Samaj Paksha) and Vinayak Mete (Shiv Sangram), said that they were upset with the number of seats allotted to them and they would take a final decision if their seats aren’t increased.

The partners, who till some time ago were saying that the alliance should remain intact even if they get less seats, are now threatening to quit it if they aren’t given 8 seats. The new formula worked out by Sena-BJP, gave only 7 seats to the four parties, including Ramdas Athawale’s RPI.

In the morning, Maharashtra BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis met Mete, after which, Jankar and Shetti said that they would call a press conference in the evening and declare that they are quitting the alliance. However, Shetti later told this reporter that he would first talk to both the BJP and Sena and only then take a decision.

In the afternoon, the leaders of the four parties went to meet Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at Matoshree, after which they met BJP leaders at a Bandra hotel. Arjun Dangle of the RPI (A), claimed that they were unhappy with the number of seats given to them and hence wanted to meet the top leaders of the alliance partners.

“We want 18 seats for all the four parties, nothing less than that. Of these, we want 10 seats for RPI (A). We will have our meeting and decide on the future course of action soon, if our demands aren’t met,” said Dangle. Meanwhile, Sena and BJP leaders kept mum, and senior BJP leader Vinod Tawde, who was part of the meeting at the hotel, didn’t reply to questions related to the alliance.

It is being said that on Thursday, a final call on the alliance will be taken when Amit Shah will be in town. But then Thackeray will be in Tulzapur, visiting the Tulza Bhawani temple. Shah will directly be heading to Uttan when Uddhav will be in Tulzapur.

It is also being said that there won’t be any formal announcement on seats the candidates will be given the election forms from the party offices and they will fill them within the next two days as September 27 is the last day for filing nominations.

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