Now,a tug of war within Sena-BJP-RPI for seats

Like the Congress and the NCP,the Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI alliance is also struggling to arrive at a mutually agreeable seat-sharing deal for the BMC polls and hectic parleys are on as the RPI has demanded 30 seats.

Written by Swatee Kher | Mumbai | Published:January 6, 2012 2:00 am

Like the Congress and the NCP,the Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI alliance is also struggling to arrive at a mutually agreeable seat-sharing deal for the BMC polls and hectic parleys are on as the RPI has demanded 30 seats.

The two-decade-long saffron alliance of Sena-BJP has decided to team up with RPI this time around to tackle the rising MNS.

In 2007,BJP had 72 seats while Sena contested 155 seats of the total 227. During preliminary talks,the RPI was offered 22 seats —15 from the Sena quota and seven from the BJP quota. It was later increased to 25. RPI is now demanding at least 30 seats in Mumbai,which both the Sena-BJP are unwilling to concede.

With RPI demanding five more seats,it created a flutter within the parties and an urgent meeting was called at Sena Bhavan on Thursday evening. After the meeting,RPI leader Arjun Dangle said they were satisfied with the discussion and the alliance would hold and the exact seats and number would be finalised during a meeting on January 11.

“We are satisfied with the talks and seems like we will get 29 or 30 seats. The final seat allocation and the exact seats which will be shared between the alliance will be decided on January 11,” said RPI leader Arjun Dangle.

However,prominent writer and Dalit Panther leader Namdeo Dhasal walked out of the meeting over the differences. He said the Athavale group was acting arrogantly and he did not want to be with the group. “I will hold separate talks with Uddhav Thackeray,if needed,” he said.

“We had a positive discussion and there is no basis in the reports of a rift within the alliance. We will make a formal announcement next week,” said Uddhav,adding that he will address Dhasal’s grievance too.

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