RSP likely to join MVA, Jankar could get Madha LS seat | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

RSP likely to join MVA, Jankar could get Madha LS seat

Mar 11, 2024 08:08 AM IST

Mumbai: Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) led by Mahadev Jankar set to join Maharashtra opposition alliance, seeking Madha Lok Sabha seat.

Mumbai: Even as uncertainty looms over inclusion of the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) in the opposition Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance, the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) headed by Mahadev Jankar looks set to join the grouping as its newest ally. Jankar is currently in the final round of talks with NCP chief Sharad Pawar and is likely to be the opposition candidate from the Madha Lok Sabha constituency.

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RSP is a former ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and Jankar holds considerable clout among Dhangars, a community of shepherds with significant presence in 6-7 Lok Sabha constituencies including Baramati, Parbhani, Osmanabad (Dharashiv), Ahmednagar, Amravati, Solapur and Shirur. He was a minister in the previous Devendra Fadnavis government during 2014-19 and was reportedly upset after being ignored by the ruling party.

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If RSP joins the MVA, it could provide a much-needed boost to the opposition alliance. NCP insiders said though Jankar was insisting on two Lok Sabha seats (Madha and Parbhani), Pawar had only promised to field him from Madha. “NCP has no problem in giving the Parbhani seat to Jankar’s party. But the seat is currently held by Sanjay Jadhav of the Shiv Sena (UBT), and they are not willing to leave it for any other ally as they want to re-nominate him,” said a senior NCP functionary. He further said that Uddhav Thackeray was reluctant to deny Jadhav a re-nomination as he had remained loyal to the party.

On March 3, Pawar had hinted at the possibility of Jankar joining the opposition alliance, saying “We want Jankar to be part of our alliance. We’re ready to leave the Madha seat for him.”

Jankar had, however, responded claiming he was neither part of the ruling alliance nor the opposition alliance. “I’m thankful to Sharad Pawar saheb for intending to give the Madha seat to me but I don’t know if Congress and Shiv Sena (UBT) will agree to it. Hence we are preparing to contest at least two seats, Madha and Parbhani, on our own,” he had said.

In 2014, Jankar had contested against Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule, only to be defeated by the lowest margin of 69,719 votes.

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    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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