‘No Sainiks in Sena UBT, no Bhim Sainiks with VA to make team’ says Ramdas Athawale

Union minister Ramdas Athawale scoffs at the prospective alliance of two parties; says Bhimshakti is with him while Shivshakti is with Eknath Shinde

Sanjay JogUpdated: Monday, January 02, 2023, 11:31 PM IST
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Union Minister Ramdas Athawale | IANS

Mumbai: Even as talks are underway between the Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray (UBT) party and the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) to stitch a tie-up with an eye on BMC elections, the Republican Party of India chief and Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Monday claimed the alliance will not help the parties.

He took a dig at Sena UBT chief Uddhav Thackeray and VBA founder Prakash Ambedkar, saying that while there are no Shiv Sainiks with Mr Thackeray, there are no Bhim Sainiks with Mr Ambedkar. “Bhim Sainiks (Bhimshakti) are with me and Shiv Sainiks (Shivshakti) are with Eknath Shinde. Mr Shinde’s revolt was big. In addition, there will be differences among the Thackeray camp and VBA and the NCP and Congress over seat distribution,” he said.

Mr Athawale, an arch political rival of Mr Ambedkar, had earlier quit the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and joined the BJP. He said that no matter how many meetings are held between the two parties, it will be of no use. Interestingly, Mr Ambedkar has already ruled out any possibility of his party’s tie up with the BJP.

After his recent meeting with Mr Ambedkar, Mr Thackeray said that the alliance will be decided after fixing certain small issues. On his part, Mr Ambedkar pointed out that the Shiv Sena UBT will take a call on whether to induct the VBA into the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) or forge a separate alliance.

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