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Small in size but big in impact: These parties play crucial role in democracy

A look at the smaller political parties in Maharashtra that are expected to make a mark in the 2019 Assembly elections:

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: September 28, 2019 3:41:24 am
Ramdas Athawale, mayawati, pm modi, ramdas atahwale mayawati married comment, modi wife abandon, lok sabha elections, election news,  The RPI (Athawale) faction is the most dominant RPI faction in the state. RPI(A) president Ramdas Athavale, who is the Minister of State for Social Justice in Centre, has declared that his party’s alliance with the BJP will continue in the upcoming polls. (Express file photo by Amit Mehra)

In alliance with BJP

Republican Party of India (A)

Dalits play deciding role in 35 to 40 assembly segments. The RPI (Athawale) faction is the most dominant RPI faction in the state. RPI(A) president Ramdas Athavale, who is the Minister of State for Social Justice in Centre, has declared that his party’s alliance with the BJP will continue in the upcoming polls. But it has conveyed to the BJP that it will contest the polls on the RPI(A) symbol to retain its independent identity.

The RPI(A) had joined the BJP alliance before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Since then, it has supported BJP in every poll in state.

At present, RPI(A) does not have any elected member in the Assembly or the Lok Sabha. The BJP accommodated Athavale as a member of Rajya Sabha from its own party quota.

Rashtriya Samaj Paksh

Five years after cashing on the demand of Schedule Tribe reservation for Dhangar community, state Minister Mahadev Jankar led Rashtriya Samaj Paksh (RSP), an ally of the BJP, is likely to increase its tally in assembly with the expansion of party’s base.

Jankar, who founded the RSP in 2003, came to the limelight in Maharashtra politics in 2014 after giving a tough fight to NCP’s Baramati MP Supriya Sule in the Lok Sabha polls and later during the Dhangar community’s protest in Baramati for ST reservation ahead of the Assembly polls.

Jankar, the minister for dairy development, has given a list demanding 57 seats for its party to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. In 2014 assembly polls, RSP had contested five seats with Rahul Kul winning from Daund constituency.

In alliance with Cong-ncp

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana

The Swabhimani Shetkati Sanghatana led by farmers’ leader Raju Shetti has decided to form a pre-poll alliance with the Congress-NCP if its demand for seats is met.

In 2014 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, the Sanghatana was part of the BJP-led alliance. However, in 2015, following differences with the BJP, Shetti decided to part ways. The internal problems with his close aide Sadabhau Khot, who was made a minister of state in the Maharashtra government, led to Shetti’s moving out of the NDA.

The party, which is centred around Shetti’s politics for farmers’ issues, faces many challenges. In 2014, Shetti was elected to the Lok Sabha from Hathkanangle, but he lost the 2019 LS polls. A day before, Shetti’s close aide Ravikant Tupkar resigned from the organisation.

Peasants and Workers Party

The Left-leaning party, which was among the principal Opposition parties in Maharashtra at one point of time, has a tough challenge to retain its seats in the upcoming assembly polls. According to party leaders, it had contested 51 seats and had won three in 2014 polls, including Ganpatrao Deshmukh from Sangola in Solapur, Subhash Patil from Alibag and Dhairaysheel Patil from Pen Raigad district.

“With the alliance between Sena and BJP is likely, we might a face a tough battle this time in Raigad district but we are sure of retaining the two seats,” said a PWP leader.

Samajwadi Party

The Samajwadi Party has been active in Maharashtra’s politics since the mid 90s, having made a successful debut in the 1995 elections, winning three seats. The party under the leadership of state president Abu Asim Azmi has remained confined to Muslim pockets in Maharashtra. The party had attained its zenith in the state in 2009 when it won four seats. In the present elections, the party is looking at joining hands with the Congress-NCP as part of the SP’s national plan of fielding a combined opposition against the BJP. The SP will be targetting four seats in Muslim dominated pockets like Mankhurd, Aurangabad East, Bhiwandi East and Byculla.

Those NEUTRAL

AIMIM

The Hyderabad-based All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) has been contesting Maharashtra elections since the 90s. It was only in 2014 that the growing dissent by Muslim youth against the traditional political parties led to the electoral success for the party. That reflected in the party winning two assembly seats in 2014 in Mumbai and Marathwada, which have one of the highest Muslim populations in the state. The party is now planning to expands its footprint across the state. The AIMIM will contesting 50 seats on its own.

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