Republican Party of India (A) chief Ramdas Athawale has issued an ultimatum to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena to settle the seat-sharing issue in Maharashtra
RPI(A) chief Ramdas Athawale, whose party is one of the constituents of Mahayuti supporting the NDA government, today sought to put the Sena-BJP led alliance on notice over allocation of seats for forthcoming Assembly elections, saying the dalit outfit will go alone if it is given a raw deal by the "bigger parties".
"We do not want to break our alliance with the 'Mahayuti'. But if the bigger parties are not at all willing to give up their seats for RPI, we will enter the poll fray without any alliance and make sure we give the other candidates a tough fight," Athawale said.
RPIA) chief Ramdas Athawale
He was addressing reporters here on the sidelines of the state committee meeting of the party on distribution of seats, which is yet to be finalised, to it by the Sena-BJP-led combine.
The saffron alliance, which put up a robust show in Lok Sabha elections by winning 42 out of 48 seats, is yet to seal the seat-sharing deal for the polls, due in October, owing to differences between Sena and BJP.
"It is high time the Sena-BJP combine finalises the seat- sharing pact for the upcoming elections. Mahayuti needs RPI (A) to defeat the Congress-NCP combine in polls," Athawale said.
The Dalit leader sought "immediate clarity" on the seat- sharing formula between the two parties so that seats to be allocated to RPI(A) get finalised.
"We will not accept being given seats in single digits. We need double digit seats, and that too with respect. Our candidates will not fight elections on the election symbols of the Sena-BJP," Athawale said.
Athawale, a Rajya Sabha MP, demanded that RPI should get a berth in Union cabinet, four MLC seats and a "15 per cent share in the running of the state government if the Mahayuti comes to power in Maharashtra."