In a major embarrassment to the newly formed Republican Left Democratic Front (RLDF), one of its key member and known Dalit leader and poet Namdeo Dhasal said the Shiv Sena is not a "fascist" organisation.
"Sena came into existence by venting people's frustration against the then Congress government led by chief minister Y B Chavan," Dhasal, founder of Dalit Panther movement, said.
Sena was one of the members of the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement and after the creation of the state, it was expected that the movement will come to power, Dhasal, contesting from suburban Ghatkopar (west) on RLDF ticket, said.
The Front comprises 17 parties and is all geared up to take on the ruling Congress-NCP and the Sena-BJP saffron alliance in the Maharashtra Assembly polls on October 13.
"However, the Congress again came into power and that frustration in the society created a political need for organisations like Sena and Panther," he said.
"Later, the Congress supported Sena to break the monopoly of Leftist parties in trade union. The same Congress today is campaigning against the Sena for being fascist now," he said.
Dhasal's comment on Sena comes days after RPI (Gawai) leader Rajendra Gawai, who had earlier joined RLDF, extended his support to Congress-NCP.