Wednesday, April 24, 2013

With MNS out of reckoning, BJP-Sena looks to smaller parties for 2014

While its much-speculated pre-poll alliance with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) seems to be a non-starter, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance plans to enter into electoral understandings with smaller, sub-regional political formations for next year's assembly and general elections to consolidate the anti-incumbency vote.

A senior BJP leader told dna it was eyeing smaller parties and added that BJP was also in touch with Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) led by Mahadeo Jankar, a leader of the Dhangar community, having its base in Western Maharashtra and parts of Marathwada.

Sena and BJP have already entered into a rainbow coalition with Lok Sabha MP Ramdas Athavale's Republican Party of India (RPI-A), which, leaders admit, will help them make inroads into the Buddhist Dalit community -- the largest chunk of Dalit votes.

Jankar had managed to get around 99,000 votes against NCP chief Sharad Pawar from Madha constituency in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls in which BJP's Subhash Deshmukh polled 2.16 lakh votes. A BJP leader said they were looking at more such sub-regional players.

Jankar confirmed that they were in talks with the BJP for a pre-poll alliance.

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