Efforts at forging RPI unity not bearing fruit: Athawale

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Kolhapur, Dec 14 (UNI) Republican Party of India (RPI) MP Ramdas Athawale today admitted that his efforts at forging unity among the various RPI factions had not evoked much response.

If the different factions unite, then RPI can be a force to reckon with, Mr Athawale said while addressing a press conference here today.

Mr Athawale said that he will continue the efforts and will write letters to leaders of the various factions in this regard.

He also informed the group led by him will hold year-long celebrations to mark the RPI's golden jubilee. Various functions and programmes will be held as part of the celebrations and he will also lead an ''Abhiyan Yatra'' that will commence from Nashik on January 5 next year and culminate at Shivaji Park in Mumbai on February 17.

During the ''yatra'', efforts will be made to foster unity among the RPI factions and urge people, cutting across caste lines, to join the party.

Meanwhile, referring to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, Mr Athawale claimed the BSP cannot win even a single assembly seat in Maharashtra when elections are next held.

Although Mayawati, during a rally in Mumbai recently, had announced that her party would contest the Maharashtra elections on its own, the party will not be able to secure even a single seat, Mr Athawale said.

Mr Athawale claimed that Mayawati's rally in Mumbai was attended largely by people from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab and majority of them were not ''dalits''.

Mayawati's BSP was more interested in acquiring power, while his group wanted to foster social welfare and to serve the needy ''dalits'' and others.


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