|Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment|
5 July 2016
|Prime Minister||Narendra Modi|
|Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra|
April 3, 2014 – April 2, 2020
|Lok Sabha MP from Pandharpur|
|Preceded by||Sandipan Thorat|
|Born||Ramdas Bandu Athawale
25 December 1959
Agalgaon, Maharashtra, India
|Political party||Republican Party of India (A)|
|Occupation||Trade unionist, social worker|
Ramdas Bandu Athawale (born 25 December 1959) is an Indian politician from Maharashtra. A Buddhist, he is the founder–leader of the Republican Party of India (A), an Ambedkarite party. Currently, he is Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment in the Narendra Modi government, and represents Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India's Parliament. Previously he was the Lok Sabha MP from Pandharpur.
Athawale was a full time member of Dalit Panther of India organization which was founded by Namdeo Dhasal and J.V.Pawar, Athawale demanded firearms. for Dalits from Indian Government for self-defense and to resist oppression.
He was member of Maharashtra Legislative Council form 1990 to 1995 and position of Cabinet Minister for Employment Guarantee Scheme and Prohibition Propaganda, Social Welfare and Transport in the Government of Maharashtra.
He also represented Mumbai North Central in 12th Lok Sabha during 1998-99. He left the Nationalist Congress Party-Indian National Congress alliance in 2011 after having lost the 2009 Lok Sabha election. Athawale led the RPI party, joined the Shivsena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance in 2011 and contested Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections together. Athawale lost in the Shirdi (Lok Sabha constituency) election in 2009.
Devyani Khobragade was appointed Personal Secretary to Athawale in July 2016 but was turned down by his senior Minister Thawarchand Gehlot. As her father Uttam Khobragade a retired IAS Officer, was the national executive president of Athawale's Republican Party of India (Athvale).
Athawale was born to Bandu Athawale and Smt. Honsabai Athawale in Agalgaon, Sangli district in Maharashtra. he is married to Seema Athawale and has son named Jeet. He is Buddhist by religion. He is under graduate Educated at Siddharth College, Mumbai
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