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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Athawale against Hindutva, but sticks to saffron allies

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, June 27, 2013
First Published: 10:37 IST(27/6/2013) | Last Updated: 10:40 IST(27/6/2013)

Ramdas Athawale, chief of the Republican Party of India (A), said that he would continue to oppose the Hindutva and reservation agendas of Shiv Sena and Bhartiya Janata Party.

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At the same time, he clarified that his party would remain part of the combine as they had all joined hands with the intention of pulling down the ruling parties from power in the state.

Athwale, who was with the Congress and later with Nationalist Congress Party for more than 10 years, joined hands with Sena-BJP combine two years ago.

Athawale expressed his discontent soon after Uddhav Thackeray, while addressing his party’s anniversary rally last week, announced that his party had not left the agenda of Hindutva behind.

Clarifying further, he said on Wednesday: “We always had opposed the agenda of Hindutva solicited by Sena. We always were against the theme of reservation not based on economic condition solicited by late Sena chief Bal Thackeray. Despite this, we joined hands with Sena to support the common minimum programme projected by the combine to keep Congress and NCP away from power after the elections to be held next year.”

Athawale also said there was no need to include the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in the combine to win the elections.

“In fact, keeping MNS away will help the combine to win more seats as the former will eat into the NCP votes in parts of the state like western Maharashtra,” he said.


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