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RPI (Athawale) wants to contest 14-15 Assembly seats

Ramdas Athawale

Ramdas AthawaleMumbai: Republican Party of India (Athawale), a part of Shiv Sena-BJP-led alliance, today said it is keen to contest at least 14-15 seats in the upcoming Assembly polls in Maharashtra and hopes to win a dozen of them to emerge as a state-level recognised party.

Talking to reporters here, RPI chief Ramdas Athawale said his party has submitted a list of 20 Assembly seats to the Sena-BJP and hoped the Dalit outfit gets to fight at least 14-15 of them.

“We have submitted a list of 20 probable seats to our alliance partners and we hope we get to fight from at least 14-15 of those. To make RPI a recognised party in the state, we will have to send at least 12 MLAs to the Vidhan Sabha. We hope our alliance partners consider this fact,” he said.

The saffron alliance, which put up a robust show in the Lok Sabha election – winning 42 of the 48 constituencies – is yet to seal a pact for the 288-member House amid reports of differences between Sena and BJP over their quota of seats.

Athawale claimed the Narendra Modi government has done more work in 100 days than what its predecessor did in 100 months and said the BJP-led administration is committed towards bringing down prices of essential commodities.

“Prime Minister Modi said he will bring good days (acche din) for India. But even he cannot bring acche din in one day. In the last 100 days, the government has done more work than what the previous government could do in 100 months. The government is trying hard to bring down prices of essential commodities,” the former State Minister said.

Athawale was talking to the media on the sidelines of a function where former IAS officer Uttam Khobragade joined the party, the most influential among nearly half a dozen RPI factions active in the State politics.

The ex-bureaucrat, father of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, has joined the RPI to strengthen it and not to seek an election ticket, Athawale said.

“He has joined our party to strengthen it and help Dalits socially and economically. There is no question of tickets as of now..,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.


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