Wanted to contest Shirdi LS seat, but it didn’t work out: Union minister Athawale

PTI, Apr 10, 2024, 1:48 PM IST

Nagpur: Union Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale on Wednesday said he wanted to contest the Shirdi Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra but it did work out due to certain alliance compulsions.

However, his Republican Party of India (A) workers have asked him to stay with the ruling NDA and demand a cabinet berth at the Centre, Athawale, a prominent Dalit leader from Maharashtra, said addressing a press conference in Nagpur.

The Rajya Sabha member said he wanted to go to the Lok Sabha and tried to seek Shirdi seat for it.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who heads the Shiv Sena, has assured the Shirdi seat to his party’s sitting MP Sadashiv Lokhande. ”Hence, the seat-sharing could not work out,” he said.

Athawale said the RPI (A) workers from across the country have asked him to stay with the NDA and demand a cabinet berth. The minister said he has discussed the issue with Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis.

Athawale also said the Congress was spreading rumours that the government will change the Constitution. He appealed to people not to pay heed to such rumours. On Tuesday also, Athawale dismissed the Congress’ allegation and said he would resign if there is any attempt to change the Constitution.

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