Mumbai: Congress on Thursday launched the campaign
for the 2012 Mumbai civic polls, calling the newly formed Shiv
Shakti-Bhim Shakti alliance between Shiv Sena and Republican
Party of India led by Dalit leader Ramdas Athawale as a
The party also accused the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance, which
controls the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, of corruption.
Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and state industries
minister Narayan Rane took on the Sena-BJP during the `Jan
Jagran Abhiyan` of Mumbai Congress here today.
However, some Congress leaders including Union Minister
Gurudas Kamat and city MPs Priya Dutt and Milind Deora were
Deshmukh said the Sena-BJP alliance with RPI was formed
with an eye on the elections. It was his government in the
state which gave Rs 10 crore for development of Dr Ambedkar`s
memorial, Chaityabhoomi, near Shivaji Park, he said.
"Sena-BJP never thought of Chaityabhoomi when they held
rallies at Shivaji Park," he said.
Rane also claimed that Athawale would not stay with the
saffron combine for long. "Congress workers need not fear this
alliance," he said.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said he wondered if the
coming together of Sena-BJP and RPI was "an alliance, a
coalition or a political adjustment for gaining power". Chavan
said it was "an unprincipled alliance" with an eye on Mumbai
polls as retaining power in Mumbai corporation was crucial for
Sena-BJP`s political survival.