Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Sunday said he is hoping to get 10 seats for Republican Party of India (RPI) in the BJP-led alliance for Maharashtra Assembly elections.
The RPI chief said Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis and state BJP president Chandrakant Patil have asked him to wait for the announcement of the BJP-Shiv Sena seat-sharing deal.
"Shiv Sena and BJP will finalise their seat-sharing plan for the Maharashtra polls today. They will contest 270 seats. Since 18 seats will be given to other allies, we have demanded 10 seats for RPI. We have had discussions with Fadanvis and Chandrakant Patil. They have asked me to wait for a final settlement between Shiv Sena and BJP," Mr Athawale said at a press conference here.
He, however, said his party may be given one-two seats less than what he has demanded. "There are chances that we may get one-two seats less but we have to form an alliance as we do not have any alternative," the minister said.
Mr Athawale expressed the hope the NDA will win as many as 250 seats. "Congress and NCP are almost dead in the state and they will barely get between 30-40 seats," he said.
Referring to Uttar Pradesh, he said RPI is trying to strengthen its base in the state and claimed many leaders belonging to Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) want to join his party.
The minister felt the scrapping of Article 370 will benefit the NDA in Maharashtra and Haryana polls.
To a question on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, he said, "When Rahul Gandhi cannot manage his party well, how would he govern the country? As a result, he lost Amethi constituency."
He asserted there is no alternative to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the current political landscape.
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