Mumbai: Three factions of the Republican
Party of India on Thursday presented a united face ahead of Assembly
elections in Maharashtra and said it will not align with
ruling Congress-NCP combine for the poll.
However, another faction led by party founder B R
Ambedkar`s grandson Prakash Ambedkar dismissed the unity
effort of the party saying it was a "farce aimed at reviving
political fortunes of failed leaders".
RPI leader Ramdas Athawale said efforts would be made to
rope in Prakash Ambedkar, who heads the Bharip-Bahujan
Prakash, who skipped today`s meet, said "Talking about
Republican unity and at the same time, remaining in state
ministry is ludicrous". He was referring to a leader of the
Athawale-led RPI faction, who is a minister of state in the
Congress-NCP state government.
"The united Republican Party of India will not go with
Congress-NCP in Assembly elections," Athawale said, adding
that another meeting of senior Republican leaders would be
held on August 11.
About a possible tie-up with Shiv Sena-BJP, Athawale said
a decision on the issue would be taken on August 11.
This is the third attempt at uniting various Republican
Party factions in last 15 years.
Athawale, Jogendra Kawade and Rajendra Gavai, who lead
major Republican Party factions, were among those present at
the meeting held in south Mumbai.