Mumbai: Despite sustained pressure from the BJP, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) chief Mahadev Jankar has made it clear that he will not contest the Lok Sabha (LS) polls from the Baramati seat on the lotus symbol.
Mr Jankar, who offered stiff competition to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Supriya Sule in Baramati in 2014, is reportedly disgruntled with the BJP for sidelining smaller constituents like his RSP.
âI have already told the BJP leadership that I will contest the Lok Sabha polls only on the symbol of our party. Even in the Vidhan Sabha polls, our stand will be the same,â Mr Jankar told The Asian Age.
However, the prominent Dhangar leader said that he had not given up his chances of contesting the LS polls. âWe have apprised our stand to the BJP and are awaiting their response. But there has not been any headway so far,â said Mr Jankar, who is a minister for animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries development in the state cabinet.
The BJP have been demanding that the RSP chief should contest on the lotus symbol in Baramati constituency, which is the bastion of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
In 2014, Mr Jankar had contested on his partyâs symbol from Baramati against Supriya Sule, daughter of Mr Pawar, and lost the election by nearly 70,000 votes. It was the lowest ever margin of victory for the Pawar family from Baramati. Ms Sule had won in 2009 with a margin of more than three lakh votes.
Many in the BJP were of the opinion that the 2014 result in Baramati would have been different, had Mr Jankar contested on BJPâs symbol.