Friday, June 10, 2011

[ZESTCaste] More than 1.5 lakh turn up for Sena-BJP-RPI rally

More than 1.5 lakh turn up for Sena-BJP-RPI rally
Sayli Udas Mankikar, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, June 10, 2011

The heavy rains on Thursday couldn't dampen the rally of the newly
forged alliance of the Shiv Sena, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and
the Republican Party of India (RPI) where the leaders launched a
scathing attack on the government. While their opponents — the
Congress and the Nationalist Cong
ress Party (NCP) — were hoping that the rains would result in a lower
turnout, over 1.5 lakh supporters showed up at the venue.

Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, RPI chief Ramdas
Athawale, BJP leaders Eknath Khadse and Vinod Tawde spoke about
corruption, price rise and dalit atrocities.

"Till now we were protesting against the same issues, but separately.
Now we will come together and fight to clean the system," Uddhav said.

"It was the Janata Party not the Congress that gave Babasaheb Ambedkar
[dalit leader] the opportunity to go to Parliament. And now when
Athawale's house at Delhi was vacated, the Congress threw out all his
belonging and Babasaheb's statue was kept on the road. This is the
respect Congress has for dalits," Tawde said.

However, Athawale seems to be testing the waters. "We were with the
Congress for 20 years. We will stay with you for 10 years and see how
it goes," he said.

Athawale claimed the alliance was not for political purpose. "We have
come together to fight issues. Discussion on civic polls have not yet
started," he said.

Despite the presence of prominent leaders, BJP leader Gopinath Munde
did not turn up for the rally. While BJP leaders said he was ill,
sources said Munde was upset with BJP chief Nitin Gadkari over the
selection of the Pune city unit chief.

Meanwhile, Congress criticised the saffron speakers. "What
alternatives are they going to offer to the people when their own
house is in disarray?" asked party spokesman Sanjay Dutt.


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