RPI (A) leader Ramdas Athawale is likely to be nominated as the Sena-BJP candidate for the biennial Rajya Sabha elections scheduled for February 7.
A resolution of recommendation to nominate Athawale to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra was unanimously adopted at a meeting of Sena-BJP leaders here today, which will be sent to the BJP central leadership.
Shiv Sena and BJP can get one seat each elected with their strength of 45 and 47 respectively in the legislative assembly. The quota for winning candidate is 36. So far, Shiv Sena's Rajkumar Dhoot has filed his nomination papers. BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar is among the seven retiring members.
The meeting of the grand alliance of Shiv Sena, BJP, RPI, Shetkari Sanghatana and Rashtriya Samaj Party leaders was held in the city.
Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, BJP leader Gopinath Munde, Ramdas Athawale, Vinod Tawde, Devendra Fadanvis, Sanjay Raut, Subhash Desai, Ramdas Kadam, Avinash Mahatekar, Tansen Nanavare, Arjun Dangale were present at the meeting.
Raju Shetty and Mahadev Jankar were not present at the meeting, but were contacted on phone to deliberate on the proceedings of the meeting, Sena-BJP sources said.
"RPI will not be just given MLA or MP candidature, but will be sharing power in the state and centre," sources said.
A common minimum programme of the grand alliance was also discussed. Poor population of the state will get a share in wastelands and a strong new legislation will be enacted to prevent atrocities on women, Dalits and tribals, sources said.
The alliance will begin its election campaign from Ichalkaranji on January 30. There are also plans to organise separate rallies of students, women, trade and industry, labour sector. Similarly, a morcha will be organised on February 25 at Azad Maidan in Mumbai to highlight the failures of the state government.