Republican factions unite; not to align with Cong-NCP
Last Updated: Thursday, August 06, 2009, 23:47
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 Mahasangh.

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.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, August 06, 2009, 23:47

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