Rewards of the partnership between BJP and Republican Party of India (Athavale) seem to have swung towards the BJP, which more than doubled its MLAs in the reserved seats, while all RPI candidates were defeated, majority of them losing their deposits. BJP won 14 of the 28 reserved seats, from 6 in 2009.
Of the two reserved seats in Pune district, BJP won in Pune Cantonment, and the RPI lost in Pimpri. In Pune Cantonment Dilip Kamble trounced Congress strongman Ramesh Bagwe and In Pimpri, Chandrkanta Sonkamble lost to Shiv Sena’s Gautam Chabukswar.
The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress had 7 MLAs each from reserved constituencies against 6 of the BJP in the outgoing Assembly. Bharipa Bhahujan Mahasangh, the party of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar had 1 seat.
The BJP is the biggest gainer in 2014, while Shiv Sena improved its tally to 8. The Congress won 2 and NCP won 3 seats.
Bharipa Bhaujan Mahasangh remained steady with 1 seat.
After the break-up of BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in the state, RPI tied up with BJP for the polls. BJP took the lion’s share of seats, RPI contested from eight.
RPI leader Dr Siddharth Dhende blamed BJP for not doing enough to transfer its votes to RPI.
“In reserved constituencies, a large chunk of BJP voters did not vote for RPI,” he said. Dhende cited Pimpri reserved seat where Chandrakanta Sonkamble was third, losing by 3,000 votes. Shiv Sena won defeating NCP by 2,000 votes.
He said, “If there was a Modi wave, why did Sonkamble lose when Modi addressed a rally in the assembly segment?”
The RPI voteshare fell from 0.85 per cent in 2009 to 0.2 per cent in 2014.
RPI leaders feel they have been given a raw deal by BJP, which gained from the alliance. Around 31 seats, other than reserved seats, with more than 10-15 per cent Dalit voters mostly went to the Congress. In Marathwada, where BJP’s performance improved, Congress bagged the most seats with significant Dalit population.
Ambedkar questioned the mathematics in reserved seats.
“In such seats, population of non-Dalits is more and that helps them swing votes for BJP. In areas where there are Hindu Dalits, the message of Hinduvta attracts them and that is why they go with them,” he said.