‘Ambedkar is threatened by my ministership’

Sakal Times
Friday, 20 April 2018

“Police have evidence against Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide. They should investigate the matter in detail at the earliest,” Athawale said, adding that there is no threat to either the Constitution or the SC/ST Act.

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale takes jibe at Prakash Ambedkar, says his ministership is not dependent on him

Pune: Replying to a question about his position with regards to the Ambedkarite movement on one hand and his coalition with the BJP on the other having weakened his grip over Dalits due to Prakash Ambedkar’s rise, Ramdas Athawale said that his ministership is in no way dependent on Ambedkar, who he feels is threatened by his ministership.

Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Athawale was speaking at a press conference organised in the city on Thursday.

Republican Unity
Athawale has for more than a decade been giving a clarion call of ‘Republican Unity’, through which he envisages all factions of the Republican Party to join ranks under the leadership of Prakash Ambedkar. Ambedkar however, has distanced himself from such a plan, refusing to legitimise the other factions of the party.

“We have no question that he (Ambedkar) is our leader. We will come together under him if he agrees,” Athawale said, adding, “I have always declared support to Ambedkar’s struggles, may it be Koregaon-Bhima or any other. It is he who does not 
recognise us.”

Modi like champion IPL team captain
Contradicting himself in the same conference, Athawale then went on to talk about the 2019 General Elections in which he declared that he will remain a part of the NDA. “Modi is a great leader. He is a like a champion IPL team captain and I am his hard-hitting batsman,” Athawale said.

Koregaon-Bhima: Police have evidence against Bhide, Ekbote
Athawale said that the police should investigate the Koregaon-Bhima attacks in detail and frame the true culprits behind the violence. “Police have evidence against Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide. They should investigate the matter in detail at the earliest,” Athawale said, adding that there is no threat to either the Constitution or the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

RPI restrategising
Saying that his faction of the RPI is the strongest, Athawale said that they are looking at expanding the party. “We want the RPI to become the largest opposition party as Ambedkar envisioned it.”

I don’t need to be in ‘Big Boss’
 In his peculiar style, Ramdas Athawale also responded to a question fielded to him regarding his statement that he wanted to join Big Boss, the popular reality show. 
 Athawale said, “I do not have time to join Big Boss now. I myself am the Big Boss now.”

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