Sena Has Offered Me Dy Chief Ministership, Claims Athawale

Sena Has Offered Me Dy Chief Ministership, Claims Athawale

Republican Party of India (Athawale) president Ramdas Athawale today claimed he has been offered the post of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister by Shiv Sena if it came to power, but he was yet to decide on a tie-up with the saffron outfit for the October 15 Assembly polls.

Athawale, who heads the largest faction of nearly half-a- dozen RPI groups, said the offer was made by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

"Uddhavji has requested me to form an alliance with his party and in return has offered me the position of Deputy Chief Minister if the Sena manages to form the government after the Assembly polls," he said.

The Dalit leader, speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of his meeting with RPI's Core Committee members, said he was yet to decide on whom to tie-up with.

Athawale said negotiations are still on with the Sena and BJP, who parted ways yesterday, and a final decision on an alliance would be taken as per the advice of party workers.

"I have demanded from the BJP a berth in the Union cabinet when it is expanded," the Rajya Sabha member said.

The former state minister said several common demands have been placed by the RPI before both parties and it is for them to take a decision on accepting them.

"We have told both parties that we want 10 per cent share in government corporation posts, 3-4 ministers in the state. We want our party members in the state-run corporations like MIDC. Let's see who agrees to our demand."

Athawale said he has asked 25-30 candidates of his party to file their nominations tomorrow, the last day of submitting papers.

"But once our alliance is decided with a party, we will take some names back depending on the seat-sharing formula," he said.

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