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Sena-BJP should give 35 seats to RPI in state polls: Athawale

Athawale's RPI is a partner in the mega-alliance of Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI, which came into being about two years back, after the late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray mooted the idea of 'Shiv Shakti-Bhim Shakti'. 

"We have taken the risk of joining the Sena-BJP combine on the insistence of late Sena supremo Bal Thackeray," he said.

"Therefore, with due respect, Shiv Sena and BJP should allot at least 3-4 seats to the RPI in the Lok Sabha elections and around 35 seats in the Assembly elections. If it does not happen, it would become difficult for them to come to power," Athawale told reporters.

The RPI leader also asked the Sena-BJP to hold co-ordination meetings to initiate talks on seat-sharing. "There should be no delay in holding deliberations on seat-sharing or else we will have to leave some of our important seats," he stated.
Athawale said he had met Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil to discuss the issue of atrocities against Dalits.

"Patil promised to hold a meeting in this regard in the first week of May," he said.

He said that strict action should be taken against the accused in atrocity cases. "Innocent people should not become victim of atrocities," he said.  

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