Union minister and RPI (A) chief Ramdas Athawale on Sunday expressed displeasure over the Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena allying with the Jogendra Kawade-led People's Republican Party (PRP) "without consulting" 'Mahayuti' partners in Maharashtra.
He said all other stakeholders of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP)-Shinde camp and the Republican Party of India (Athawale) faction should have been consulted before the tie-up.
“Prof. Jogendra Kanade is our good friend and we have worked together, but Chief Minister Eknath Shinde should have consulted us before allying with him. New parties are welcome to the 'Mahayuti' (grand alliance) fold, but it is not right to include anyone without consulting us and directly making an announcement,” Athawale said.
The Dalit leader said he was not sure whether the BJP was consulted before finalising the alliance.
The politics of both Kawade and Athawale centre around Dalits in Maharashtra.
The Union minister said he will talk to Chief Minister Shinde and Deputy Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on this issue.
Last week, the Shinde-led faction of Shiv Sena announced a tie-up with Kawade, a former Lok Sabha MP and ex-MLC.
Notably, the alliance was forged at a time when talks were underway between the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of Shiv Sena and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) headed by Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar.
The Ramdas Athawale faction is already in alliance with the BJP.
Kawade, the founder and the president of the Peoples Republican Party, is one of the main activists in the Ambedkarite movement.
The RPI, which has its roots in the Scheduled Castes Federation led by B. R. Ambedkar, has several factions.