You are here: Home » Politics » News » West
Business Standard

Dalit leader Kumbhare backs BJP in Maharashtra polls

With Kumbhare on board and Ramdas Athawale's RPI already in the 'Mahayuti' fold, BJP now hopes to consolidate Dalit votes in Vidarbha

Press Trust of India  |  Nagpur 

Former minister in the Congress government during 1999-2004 and dalit leader from Vidarbha region, Sulekha Kumbhare today announced "unconditional" support of her organisation to BJP for the October 15 Assembly elections.

With Kumbhare, who had campaigned for Congress in recent Lok Sabha polls, on board and the Republican Party of India (RPI)-led by Ramdas Athawale already in the 'Mahayuti' fold, BJP is now hoping to consolidate Dalit votes in its stronghold of Vidarbha.

"Kumbhare's organisation, Bahujan Republican Ekta Manch (BREM) will extend unconditional support to BJP candidates in Nagpur district in particular and Vidarbha in general," announced Union Minister for Road Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari at a press conference here.

Addressing reporters, Kumbhare said she was "wholeheartedly" supporting the BJP and accused Congress of not keeping its poll promise made to her. She said that Congress had offered BREM only two seats out of 10 seats it had demanded.

Congress has already fielded candidates on Kamptee and Umrer seats--two of the ten seats demanded by BREM--in Nagpur district.

Kumbhare hailed Gadkari on the occasion for his "vision". "BJP is committed to create separate Vidarbha and I am a staunch advocate for the cause," she said.

State unit BJP President Devendra Fadnavis, also present on the occasion, said that BJP is contesting 257 seats and has conceded 31 seats to smaller allies: Swabhimani Paksh of Raju Shetty (14), RPI (8), Rashtriya Samaj Party of Mahadeo Jankar (5) and Shiv Sangram Party of Vinayak Mete (4).

BJP recently snapped ties with Shiv Sena, its alliance partner of 25 years, over disagreement on allocation of seats.

The truncated 'Mahayuti' sans Sena comprises BJP, RPI, RSP and SSP.

Responding to a query, Fadnavis said that BJP has assured 10 per cent share in power, if the party gets the decisive mandate, to RPI which has consented it.

He ruled out any further discussions with any party saying there is no scope for it now.

"Our fight is against Congress-NCP misrule and we will dislodge them from power," Fadnavis said.

Former MP Datta Meghe and all sitting BJP MLAs and party candidate for upcoming elections were present on the occasion.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sun, September 28 2014. 13:40 IST