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Peeved Dalit leader quits Maharashtra opposition alliance

Thursday January 05, 2012 11:43:27 PM, IANS

Mumbai: Maharashtra Dalit leader and litterateur Namdeo Dhasal Thursday announced he was disassociating from the "grand alliance" of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena and his Republican Party of India (RPI) after he was refused entry to a crucial meeting of the opposition grouping.

A peeved Dhasal -- who is considered the architect of the alliance -- termed the development as an "insult" to his Dalit supporters and is contemplating quitting the RPI.

"I had gone to the meeting at the personal invitation by RPI chief Ramdas Athawale, but this kind of behaviour is not proper," he told media persons outside Sena Bhavan, the Shiv Sena headquarters in Dadar where the three-party alliance meeting was held.

Dhasal said that this proved the mischief by Athawale.

"He is under the impression that now his party is on the verge of wining power, he can do anything. But, it is the electorate which will finally decide," Dhasal said.

Announcing that he would dissociate himself from the 'Grand Alliance,' he refused to specify whether he would quit the RPI.

"I shall discuss the issue with my party workers before taking a final decision in this regard," said the ailing Dhasal, who can move around only on a wheelchair with medical support.

Following the slight, Dhasal, an acclaimed Marathi poet, said he would independently meet Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, Executive President Uddhav Thackeray and others.

The BJP-SS-RPI meeting - which Dhasal was scheduled to attend - was held to discuss the contentious issue of seat-sharing among the constituents for the Feb 16 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections.

As per tentative indications, the BJP-SS have agreed to concede up to 30 of the (total) 227 seats in the BMC which the 'Grand Alliance' plans to contest.






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