India

Raju Shetti forms alliance of social groups to fight 'erosion of Constitutional values'

Raju Shetti forms alliance of social groups to fight 'erosion of Constitutional values'

Farmers’ leader and former MP from Hatkanangale constituency in Kolhapur, Raju Shetti, on Saturday announced the formation of Praja Lokshahi Parishad — an umbrella organisation of 18 social political outfits.

While addressing a press conference in Pune on Saturday, Shetti said the group will aim to fight the “erosion of Constitutional values” and also play a part in the upcoming Assembly polls.The organisation aims to give representation to those on the margins of society and consolidate voices of people who were finding it difficult to express their opinions, he said.

“At a time when bodies like the Reserve Bank of India and the Income Tax department have lost their independence, it was felt that a platform should be created to fight communal forces,” said Shetti.

With the Assembly elections just round the corner, the Parishad hopes to stop the division of opposition votes by entering into an alliance with parties which are opposed to the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena.

When asked if the umbrella body would consider an alliance with the Congress and NCP, Shetti said talks will be held to reach an understanding. He, however, was non-committal about any such understanding with the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi.

In the Lok Sabha elections this year, Shetti had joined hands with the Congress and NCP, but lost the Hatkanangale seat to Shiv Sena leader Dhairyasheel Mane.