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The Battle for Maharashtra

Nikhalje, 6 rebels expelled from RPI (A)

October 07, 2004 17:36 IST

The Republican Party of India (Athawale) has expelled seven rebels, including underworld don Chhota Rajan's brother Deepak Nikhalje, and party vice-president Manjit Singh Abrol, for alleged anti-party activities.

The seven have been expelled for six years as they did not withdraw their nominations for the October 13 Maharashtra assembly elections even after the RPI (A) joined hands with the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance.

The decision to expel them was announced on Wednesday by RPI's Mumbai unit chief Gautam Sonawane.

"The party asked me to file nomination on September 23 but did not send any intimation to withdraw till September 26, the last date for withdrawal of nominations," Nikhalje, who had filed papers from Chembur, told PTI.

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"It was only on Wednesday that I came to know that the party leadership had sent intimation to 100 party candidates to withdraw on September 26. Abrol and me have not received any communication in this regard.

"I have filled up the form in the party's name and will contest, as the party leader has called the fight a maitri ladhai (friendly contest)," he said adding, "If I get elected, I will be an independent."

Others expelled include Abrol (Trombay), Yogesh Shilwant (Mulund), Sandeep Pagare (Ghatkopar), R J Gaikwad (Matunga), Rajeshwar Singh (Malad) and Sanjay Owhal (Mumbadevi).

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