RPI chief meets Sena boss
Ramdas Athawale, leader of the Republican Party of India (RPI), called on Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, on Tuesday, at his residence Matoshree in Bandra, fuelling speculation in political circles.
The two leaders met for over an hour in the afternoon. Athawale, a dalit leader, termed it a courtesy call to wish Thackeray on his birthday which was on Sunday, but also said the Sena chief had suggested earlier that both parties join hands and put up a united front against various issues ignored by the ruling alliance.
Athawale’s RPI is currently aligned with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
If the RPI joins the saffron party, it could upset existing political dynamics and calculations in the Mumbai civic polls next year. With the help of the Dalit party, the Sena, battling an internal crisis now, could stand to win substantially from the Dalit pockets in the city like Chembur and Ghatkopar.
However, Athawale insisted, “It was not a political discussion. But, the Sena chief has told us that Bhim Shakti and Shiv Shakti should go together. I am not negotiating for better deals and we have made no decision so far.”
He said Thackeray and Uddhav, the party’s executive president, were present at the meeting.
Political observers said Athawale was posturing to show his current allies, the Congress-NCP, that options were open to his party. Sources in the Sena said it would be a strategic alliance that could help it garner more seats in the BMC. It would also help fend off Raj Thackeray’s popularity among Dalit youth if the RPI sided with the Sena.
There is speculation that the Sena is facing problems with many senior leaders unhappy with the current hierarchy in the party. NCP leader and deputy CM Ajit Pawar is also wooing disgruntled Sena leaders.
NCP spokesperson Madan Bafna said, “There is nothing to stop Athawale from meeting Thackeray. People from different political viewpoints continue to have good relations with each other. We are not worried about RPI deserting us for the Sena.”
The Anti-Corruption Bureau on Tuesday conducted searches at five places belonging to Congress MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan on the basis of an Enforcement Directorate report on disproportionate assets case against him. According to ED, the raids were conducted at five locations including the residence of the Chamaranpet constituency MLA at Bengaluru Cantonment, a flat at silver Oak Apartment, a guest house at Sadashiva Nagar, GK Associates office at Banashankari and National Travels office in Kalasipalya.
Bengaluru may have topped the Union government's Ease of Living Index last year, but Karnataka's capital city fared the worst among Indian cities in the Economic Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Global Livability Index 2022, which was released on June 24. Bengaluru's position in Global Livability Index 2022 For the first time, a total of five Indian cities featured on the list; before 2022, only Delhi and Mumbai were featured.
Mumbai has been witnessing heavy rain amid monsoon arrival. As downpour lashed the city on Monday, Mumbai witnessed scenes of waterlogging in several areas. Waterlogging was also reported in the city's Sion area, which disrupted normal life. Waterlogging was also seen at Khandeshwar Railway Station in Navi Mumbai as commuters navigated their way through ankle-deep waters. The weather department has issued an orange alert warning of heavy rain in Mumbai for the next few days.
Panipat police have arrested a man for making a ransom call to a local commission agent by posing as a member of Kala Jatheri gang. He had demanded Rs 10 lakh extortion money from the commission agent. The accused has been identified as Ajay of Budha Khera village in Jind. The police said that they have now arrested three persons, including Ajay, Sunil alias Sahil and Akhil, in this case.
Karnal police claimed to have busted a gang involved in theft of copper wires from transformers with the arrest of four of its members. The police said that they have recovered 2.5 quintal of copper wires, one illegal pistol, and three motorcycles from their possession. The accused have been identified as Bilal and Amjad alias Biaggi of Yamunanagar, Vasim Akram of Saharanpur, and Tahir of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.