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Dalits Miss Out Seats In The Post-Split Maharashtra Scenario

Dalits, who constitute 11.81 % of Maharashtra’s population, have failed to find space in the seat-sharing arrangements from either of the political coalitions in the post-split Maharashtra political scenario. Ramdas Athawale, the erstwhile Union minister for social justice and empowerment, and probably the most prominent Dalit face in the country, has failed to bag even a single seat for his party. Athawale revealed that he has been promised cabinet ministership in the forthcoming Maharashtra government, posts in a few corporations in and assured seats in the forthcoming assembly elections. He also revealed that his supporters had asked him to stay put in the ruling NDA alliance since being in power had benefited his party. He is also cool right now as his own Rajya Sabha term continues till 2026. Ambedkar did rue that despite being an old alliance partner with the BJP-led Mahayuti coalition, those who came in much later like the Eknath Shinde received much better terms than him. Athawale’s pitch for Shirdi constituency had to be given up to accommodate the seat for Eknath Shinde-supporter sitting MP Sadashiv Lokhande. He did admit that deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had reached out to him to cool tempers after he publicly expressed his displeasure. The other senior Dalit leader, Prakash Ambedkar has already put up 20 candidates from his Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi. This time around though Ambedkar has decided to put up candidates from all communities and not necessarily only from the Dalit community.