Maharashtra Assembly elections: Ramdas Athawale says his party won’t contest polls on BJP symbol

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Updated: Oct 10, 2019 9:27 AM

Earlier this March, it was reported that Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had asked BJP allies to contest the assembly polls on BJP's symbol. However, some parties were miffed by this call and expressed their opposition to any such move.

maharashtra polls, maharashtra elections, rpi, ramdas athawale, bjp, shiv sena, bjp maharashtra seats, devendra fadnavisAthawale is the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment in the Modi government and represents Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha.

Union minister and Republican Party of India (RPI) chief Ramdas Athawale on Thursday said that his party will contest the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections on its own symbol. He said that the BJP and Shiv Sena have offered 18 seats to allies out of which his party has demanded 10. “We will contest on our own symbol in the Maharashtra Assembly elections. We don’t want to fight on BJP’s symbol,” he told news agency ANI.

Earlier this March, it was reported that Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had asked BJP allies to contest the assembly polls on BJP’s symbol. However, some parties were miffed by this call and expressed their opposition to any such move. Athawale has now openly refused to contest on the saffron party’s symbol. Athawale is the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment in the Modi government and represents Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha. Maharashtra, which is currently under BJP-Shiv Sena rule, will go to poll later this year.

In the last assembly polls, the BJP and Shiv Sena had contested the polls separately. However, no party could secure a majority of 145 in the 288-member House, forcing BJP and Shiv Sena to forge an alliance to form the government. The BJP had won 122 of 260 seats it contested whereas Shiv Sena could manage to get just 63 out of 282 seats.

Though they came together at the state, Shiv Sena kept attacking the Modi government at the Centre until they struck a deal just before the Lok Sabha Polls held earlier this year. And the deal, as per reports, was that both BJP and Shiv Sena will get the CM’s post for 2.5 years each. In the last few weeks, there have been talks of Aditya Thackeray taking up an important role at the state level.

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