Republican Party of India (RPI) chief Ramdas Athawale has requested the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to officially include his party in the NDA alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2014. The part chief, however, stated that the party may reconsider entering the NDA if MNS is made part of the alliance.
What took off as a courtesy visit paid by new BJP Maharashtra state president Devendra Fadnavis to Athawale ended up as a 2-hour long meeting where the two leaders discussed political issues ranging from combined meetings, seat sharing, being part of the NDA and RPI’s opposition to inclusion of MNS in the NDA. The meeting came a day after Fadnavis paid a similar visit to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. Uddhav had during the interaction urged Fadnavis to ask the central BJP leadership to initiate talks on the prime ministerial candidate and take all the alliance partners into confidence.
“This time, as we are with the Sena-BJP alliance, we wanted to officially enter the NDA and work with them towards the election. Fadanvis has promised to take this request ahead,” said Athawale. Fadnavis said that he would be speaking to senior leaders in the BJP about the same.
Athawale had, earlier, openly expressed his opposition to including the MNS in the alliance even as Fadnavis had appealed to opposition parties, including the MNS, to come together for the elections. “As far as the issue of inclusion of the MNS is concerned, we will prefer to talk with our party workers before taking a decision on entering the alliance,” said Athawale.