'MVA Wanted To Ally With RPI After Talks With VBA Failed:' Ramdas Athawale On Alliance In Maharashtra Ahead Of Lok Sabha Polls

'MVA Wanted To Ally With RPI After Talks With VBA Failed:' Ramdas Athawale On Alliance In Maharashtra Ahead Of Lok Sabha Polls

Ramdas Athawale said he was invited by MVA in Maharashtra to join their alliance and contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections with them.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Wednesday, April 17, 2024, 08:36 AM IST
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'MVA Wanted To Ally With RPI After Talks With VBA Failed:' Ramdas Athawale On Alliance In Maharashtra Ahead Of Lok Sabha Polls |

Mumbai: In a significant move towards fostering Republican unity, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale has expressed his readiness to collaborate under the leadership of Prakash Ambedkar, the head of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi. Athawale, founder of the Republican Party of India, lauded Ambedkar's approach to electoral politics, emphasizing a departure from divisive tactics in favor of constructive engagement.

Speaking exclusively in an interview with the Free Press Journal, Athawale underscored the imperative for unity among various factions, transcending partisan interests for the greater good. He acknowledged the strides made in infrastructure development under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership while also advocating for enhanced rail and air connectivity as areas deserving increased attention.

Athawale acknowledged the rapid development of infrastructure services under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration. However, he emphasized the necessity of enhancing rail and air connectivity. Furthermore, he expressed confidence in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) achieving significant milestones under Prime Minister Modi's leadership, boldly stating that the alliance is poised to secure over 400 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

I support Manoj Jarange Patil

Affirming his backing for the demands put forth by Maratha movement leader Manoj Jarange Patil, Athawale articulated, "While a few Marathas may be affluent, the majority of the community still grapples with poverty. Hence, I advocate for their reservation rights." He reiterated his support for Patil's cause, proposing a solution akin to Tamil Nadu's reservation model. Athawale emphasized that if the state submits a proposal, the central government could duly consider it.

Moreover, Athawale voiced his endorsement for a caste-wise census, acknowledging its potential benefits for every community. However, he also acknowledged the constitutional complexities associated with such an endeavor. While expressing his belief that reservation can be allocated to specific groups, he cautioned against the challenge posed by the 50 percent reservation limit.

In reflecting on recent political developments, Athawale revealed his rejection of an offer from the Mahavikas Aghadi, underscoring his unwavering dedication to principles over opportunistic alliances. He issued a compelling call to parties previously aligned with the NDA, such as Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena, urging them to reassess their stance and realign with the alliance.

RPI's Nationwide Growth

When asked about the opposition's accusations against the BJP for dismantling smaller parties, Athawale said, "We may have started as a small party, but our partnership with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has propelled the Republican Party of India (RPI) to expand its footprint nationwide. Despite assertions from opposition leaders that large parties stifle smaller ones, our growth speaks otherwise. RPI's dedicated workers are now reaching into the farthest corners of rural India."

On Thackeray Brothers

"I believe there's no necessity to align with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) while we're already part of the NDA. Despite the growing attendance at MNS Chief Raj Thackeray's rallies, they don't seem to be translating into significant electoral shifts.

"I've also counseled Uddhav Thackeray on multiple occasions to reconsider his stance and return to the NDA fold. Had he not departed from the alliance, the current political landscape in Maharashtra might have been different. Regrettably, despite our friendship, Uddhav Thackeray appears unyielding and unwilling to heed advice," he said.

BJP will not touch the Constitution Of India

"Opposition leaders have accused the BJP of potentially altering the Indian Constitution after securing a majority in the Lok Sabha elections. However, this allegation is merely a tactic to mislead the public for political gain. In reality, Prime Minister Modi and the BJP hold deep respect for Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and his creation, the Constitution of India. There are no plans to amend the Constitution, and our alliance with the BJP is rooted in their reverence for Dr. Ambedkar and his legacy. Rest assured, the Constitution is not under threat," said Athawale.

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