89:63: BJP,Sena sort tangle,RPI knot remains

BJP leaders from Pune city did not attend the second day’s seat-sharing meet in Mumbai to decide the seat-share Pune Municipal Corporation polls.

Written by Nisha Nambiar | Pune | Published:January 25, 2012 1:08 am

If more seats are not allotted,our options open,says RPI leader Parshuram Wadekar

Even as some key BJP leaders from Pune city did not attend the second day’s seat-sharing meet in Mumbai to decide the seat-share Pune Municipal Corporation polls,allies BJP and Sena have declared their seat formula for the forthcoming polls. The BJP will contest 89 seats and Shiv Sena 63. However,the third alliance partner,Republican Party of India (RPI),for PMC poll will be decided after discussion with its leaders on Wednesday.

BJP city unit chief Vikas Mathkari said seat-sharing with the Sena for PMC polls has been finalised with BJP getting 10 more seats than the last elections and Sena getting three more as compared to the last elections.

“The process was completed in presence of BJP state president Sudhir Mungantiwar,BJP state general secretary (organisation) Raghunath Kulkarni,Sena leader Subhash Desai,Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe and Sena Pune city chief Shyam Deshpande,” said Mathkari who attended the meeting.

With RPI seats yet to be declared,Matkhari said the BJP had allotted 9 seats from their quota and the Sena had given 6. “They have demanded 33 seats. Talks being held with the party are the last leg,’’ said Mathkari.

RPI leader Parshuram Wadekar,meanwhile,has sounded a threat that if their seat demand is not met,they have their options open. “We had sought 33 seats. The alliance should offer at least 25. The final round of talks will be the deciding factor,’’ said Wadekar.

He said when RPI was with the Congress and NCP,they got 22 seats and they would only want to take more seats considering there are more seats this time after the panel system was introduced.

Meanwhile,some key BJP leaders from the city were apparently not aware of the seat-sharing discussion in Mumbai. MLA Girish Bapat was in Pune taking care of ZP election preparations. MLA Bhimrao Tapkir said he and MLA Madhuri Misal were both in Pune and were not aware of final seat sharing talks. Gorhe,who is also the Sena spokesperson,said there were some panels where some contention may arise and adjustments will be made within the alliance. “The seat sharing discussion in general is over. Now we will take forward talks with RPI,’’ said Gorhe.

Over the past week,the alliance of BJP-Sena-RPI has been facing rough weather over seat-sharing for PMC polls. Earlier,as a consensus was reached for 46 panels in the first phase of talks,each party demanded more seats for the remaining 30 panels,about which BJP and Sena leaders had stated that division of 20 panels would be easy while they would have to be careful about the other 10.

The RPI demand for 33 seats which senior BJP leaders had maintained would be impossible to meet had been posing a problem for the alliance. “We would come up with a middle way. However when it comes to sharing of seats,we have to consider RPI’s performance in the past civic polls,where it had garnered only 1.6% of the total votes,” said a senior BJP leader,who did not want to be named.

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