Shiv Sena and Republican Party of India announced that they would fight the coming elections to the local bodies in the state together. RPI chief Ramdas Athawale and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said at a press conference here that there were no ideological differences between the alliance partners. To a question, Athawale said during the NDA regime — of which Sena was a member — there was an apprehension among the dalits that the Constitution drafted by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar would be tampered with. “BJP national president, Nitin Gadkari, has assured me that there will be no change in the Constitution (if NDA comes to power),” Athawale said. Raut recalled Ambedkar’s association with Prabodhankar Thackeray — Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s father — and said the Sena-BJP and RPI alliance would be a great success as the Ambedkar’s followers had realised that Congress and NCP had been taking them for a ride all these years.
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