Anti-Athawale group holds RPI unity meeting in Nagpur
Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Nagpur, June 18, 2011
The senior the former Lok Sabha member and RPI leader Jogendra Kawade
has lashed out at his fellow Republican Ramdas Athawale, who recently
joined hands with Shiv Sena-BJP and said that he has deviated himself
from the Ambedkar-Phule ideology. Kawade criticized Athawale for
betraying the cause of Dr
Ambedkar by teaming up with the Sena-BJP alliance and said that the
parties that indulge in the politics of religion are dangerous to the
country and they are not congruent with Ambedkar philosophy.
"He (Athawale) should not use Bhamshakti to depict an alliance with
the saffron parties in Maharashtra. It is not an alliance of
Bhimshakti and Shivshakti, but a unity of Shivshakti and Athawale
group in the state," he quipped.
Kawade, who was one of the architects of united RPI along with
Athawale, that fought the last Assembly elections against the Congress
and Sena-BJP in the state, said he was again trying for an RPI unity
in the state against the Congress-NCP and the Sena-BJP.
Kawade asked how can Ambedkar's followers form an alliance with
parties that believe in caste systems and dominated by caste Hindus.
"The alliance would not work out as Ambedkar's followers would not be
drawn towards the proposed combination," he said.
The former Lok Sabha member has convened a unity meeting on July 16 at
Nagpur where former Maharashtra minister and leader of a splinter RPI
group, Sulekha Kumbhare, another former Maharashtra minister Gangadhar
Gade, former legislator Upendra Shende and several splinter factions
of RPI have been invited to discuss, debate and consider the proposal
to unite the dalits in the state. "I have not invited Athawale in the
proposed meeting. Besides, Prakash Ambedkar, another influential dalit
leader, too is not invited," he said and questioned their credentials
on dalit politics in the state. "However, we have invited the rank and
file of both the factions," he added.
To a question, Kawade dismissed the presumption that the new political
combination of Athawale and Sena-BJP could be game-changer in the
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