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Open to pact with Sena-BJP alliance for Kalyan polls: RPI

In a move, which could have repercussions for the Congress, the Republican Party of India has said it was open to forging an alliance with the Shiv Sena-BJP in the upcoming Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation Elections.
By Kiran Sonawane | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON SEP 25, 2010 02:32 AM IST

In a move, which could have repercussions for the Congress, the Republican Party of India has said it was open to forging an alliance with the Shiv Sena-BJP in the upcoming Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation Elections.

“Our target is to increase our seats in the Corporation. If the Shiv Sena-BJP offers us good number of winning seats, we will not hesitate to go with the saffron alliance,” said Pralhaad Jadhav, RPI president for Kalyan Dombivli.

This open call for forging an alliance with the BJP-Shiv Sena could spell trouble for the Congress-NCP. The RPI, and particularly the Athavale faction, has steadfastly backed the Congress-NCP alliance.

However, the defeat of Ramdas Athavale in the last general elections the refusal to accommodate the Dalit leader in the Rajya Sabha has led to the gradual weaning away of the RPI-A from the Congress.

The move could have a severe impact in this region as there is a sizeable Dalit population in the area.

The 107-seat KDMC is presently controlled by the Sena-BJP.

In 2005, the Sena won 29 and the BJP 16 seats. The Congress won 21 and the NCP 23 while there were 16 Independents; besides one seat each for the RPI and the BSP. Four of these independents have affiliations to the RPI.

The BJP-SS have already shored up their alliance with the Sena contesting 62 seats and the BJP 45.

The 27-year-old Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation will go to polls in October 31 for 107 seats.

State Election Commission on Thursday announced election schedule for Kalyan and Kolhapur civic bodies.

The Shiv Sena-BJP presently controls the 107-seat corporation. The MNS managed to make a severed entry in the SS-BJP combine’s votebank in this area in 2009 legislative assembly elections.

The civic polls would be a triangular fight between Sena-BJP, Congress-NCP and the MNS. The BJP and the Sena have decided to put up a united front with the Sena contesting 62 seats and the BJP 45.

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