Athawale, who forged an alliance with the Shiv Sena-BJP in May 2011 to combat inflation and corruption, was severely castigated by People's Republican Party (PRP) leader Jogendra Kawade for going along with the saffron outfit.
"How can people who call themselves followers of Babasaheb Ambedkar go with parties which opposed renaming of Marathwada University? These people (Athawale) go along with parties which have the likes of Arun Shourie, who insulted Ambedkar in his book," Kawade had said.
Replying to this, Athawale said, "I have formed an alliance with them on the common minimum programme like inflation, corruption, unemployment and atrocities against Dalits."
"I have not adopted their ideologies and principles," the Dalit leader clarified.
Athawale, during an interaction with the journalists on Monday, also said that he would mount pressure to get more seats during the state Assembly elections later this year.
"We should have got 2-3 seats to contest the Lok Sabha polls. However, we had agree on one seat. We are not satisfied with one seat," he said.
The RPI would strongly press for more seats for the state Assembly elections, he stated.
"We should get 15 percent share in functioning of the state government. We will also demand four MLC seats—two seats each from Shiv Sena-BJP quota," he said.
Pitching for an alliance of other Dalit factions, Athawale said, "I am for the unification of Dalit outfits. I am also ready to work as a party worker. Other leaders can be at the helm of affairs of the unified outfit."