A 25-year-old alliance between the Republican Party of India (Athavale) and the Congress is in doldrums as an upset Ramdas Athavale tries to tie up with the BJP-Sena combine in Maharashtra.
Athavale, however, remains non-committal about whether the alliance will materialise in the upcoming municipal elections across the state.
“That decision will be taken by our party workers before the elections,” Athavale said.
The Dalit leader — who has considerable influence over Dalit voters in Mumbai and surrounding areas — met BJP national president Nitin Gadkari on Friday to discuss the possibility of an alliance with the saffron combine before the upcoming civic polls.
Gadkari, in turn, invited Athavale to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
“The meeting was organised to discuss the possibility of all Opposition parties in the state coming together to tackle the rampant corruption and mismanagement that is plaguing the state,” Athavale said.
The BJP is keen on tying up with the RPI (A). “We are happy that Athavale has shown a willingness to join hands with us. This association would strengthen the hands of the Opposition,” Gadkari said.
Meanwhile, Athavale is likely to hold another round of meetings with Shiv Sena chief, Bal Thackeray, to discuss the potential alliance.