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Maharashtra Politics: Shiv Sena, BJP and RPI announce alliance

Monday November 14, 2011 07:16:06 PM, IANS

Mumbai: Nearly 23 years after the Shiv Sena joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party, the alliance Monday took into the fold a new partner, the Republican Party of India.

The "grand alliance" was formally announced by Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde and RPI chief Ramdas Athawale after a meeting.

Athawale said that besides the alliance in Maharashtra, the RPI would also join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

The alliance will henceforth fight all elections - ranging from local bodies to the assembly and parliament - Munde told media persons shortly after the meeting.

"We have taken RPI as an equal partner and we shall not ally in any manner with the Congress or Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) at any level," said Thackeray.

BJP leaders have termed this as "a historical development" and capable of offering "a tough challenge" to the Congress-NCP in the state.

Starting next month, local elections are scheduled all over the state, making the "grand alliance" a significant political development, said a Sena office-bearer.

Barring discussions on a handful of seats, the three-party alliance has already finalized a majority of the seat-sharing for the February 2012 elections to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).







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