Mumbai: 'Mahayuti' ally RPI(A) on Monday announced its support to BJP for the Mumbai civic polls due next year, while demanding 35 seats from its alliance partner to contest the polls.
RPI(A) chief Ramdas Athawale
"We have decided to extend our support to BJP in BMC polls. In return, we expect BJP to allocate us 35 seats,"RPI(A) chief Ramdas Athawale told reporters here. Also, in the event of the Sena and BJP parting ways, Athawale demanded that the BJP should then allocate 50 seats to his party.
"The RPI(A) will not align with Sena for the 2017 BMC elections," he said. There are currently 227 corporator wards or constituencies of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), ruled by the Sena-BJP combine.
Notwithstanding the ongoing war of words between Shiv Sena and BJP, the Rajya Sabha MP was of the view that the two parties should contest the civic elections in alliance. Though RPI(A) has a support base in Mumbai, it has just one corporator in the civic body. Athawale's party also has its support base in neighbouring Thane where civic elections are to be held early next year.
Referring to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections also due next year, Athawale expressed the desire to have an electoral alliance with BJP in the northern state too. "For an alliance to happen, BJP should allocate 25 Assembly seats to us in UP. The main aim of the RPI(A) is to ensure defeat of Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati," he said.
Athawale expressed confidence that RPI(A) will be able to garner sizable dalit votes in UP.
If BJP does not accept its proposal for alliance, RPI(A) will contest 250 seats on its own in UP, he added.