Pune Sena activists sulk over sharing of seats with RPI

Published: 18 November, 2011 09:20 IST | Priyankka Deshpande |

Party insiders allege BJP sidelining them for municipal elections, say won't be sacrificial lambs in seat-sharing process with RPI led by Ramdas Athavale

Party insiders allege BJP sidelining them for municipal elections, say won't be sacrificial lambs in seat-sharing process with RPI led by Ramdas Athavale

Local Shiv Sena party workers in the city said they were unhappy with the number of seats they have to share with the Republican Party of India (Ramdas Athavale group). Party insiders also indicate that their alliance partner, the BJP, will also have to sacrifice their seats in equal ratio to give them away to their new alliance RPI (A).

Uneasy alliance? Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray (left) and RPI
chief Ramdas Athavale. RPI have reportedly demanded for 33 seats
for the civic polls. file pic

Ramdas Athavale the president of RPI recently demanded in a press conference that as many as 25-30 seats need to be allocated to their candidates in the upcoming February civic polls. However, the local RPI leaders who met the BJP city leaders on November 13 have demanded 33 seats for their candidates.

Sources in Shiv Sena said, "Senior BJP leaders in the city have completely ignored the work Sena members have done in their respective wards and are trying to push their own candidates without realising whether they have the potential to win. Sena candidates will not be sacrificial lambs in the seat sharing process in the civic polls."

BJP-Sena-RPI, the mahayuti alliance was formed during the Khadakwasla assembly election in October, where the alliance even decided to contest the PMC, PCMC and assembly elections together. However, Sena insiders at the local level said they are feeling "sidelined" by the BJP. RPI local leaders have reportedly also met the BJP leaders in the city, while the meeting with Sena leaders is still on hold. According to a source, senior party leaders will discuss the issue following which they will be informed.

"Our senior leaders never include us in any decision making process. Earlier, our leaders discussed the issues with us, but now we are only informed about the decisions taken," said another source, who is a Sena worker since the past 35 years.

Sena sources added that most of the party candidates have worked and won seats from the area where bahujan voters reside, and now they were not willing to give up those wards to the RPI candidates.
RPI earlier in their meeting with BJP leaders indicated that they would be interested in the seats in Parvati, Vadgaon Sheri and Shivajinagar.

Senior Sena leader in the city, Sham Deshpande refused to discuss about this issue, saying that it is the prerogative of party spokesperson to talk about it. When contacted party spokesperson Neelam Gorhe, she avoided the issue saying that it was the party's internal matter and she would not disclose anything about it.

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