Zoom News : Aug 01, 2021, 08:57 AM
Lucknow: Union minister and Republican Party of India (A) chief Ramdas Athawale on Saturday said if his outfit is given eight to 10 seats in the UP Assembly polls, it can help the BJP get the Dalit vote and "push away" the BSP.Athawale, a Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra, said gone are the days of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati as it is the time of the BJP.After a meeting with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath here, the Union minister said, "A proposal was made that if the RPI comes with the BJP, it can help push away the BSP and also get the Dalit vote. So, the RPI should get eight to 10 seats."To a question that the BSP is organising conventions to woo Brahmins ahead of the polls next year, Athawale said, "I think some 8-10 per cent votes of Brahmins can go with the BSP but a majority of them will remain with the BJP.""Gone are the days when Mayawati came to power alone on the strength of Brahmins, Dalits and minorities," he added.The Rajya Sabha MP also claimed that the Dalit vote of Uttar Pradesh is not with the BSP."No party can take on the BJP. The Congress has also come to an end," he said.Athawale also dismissed the challenge posed by the Samajwadi Party."Akhlesh Yadav is not as strong as before. When the SP and BSP were strong, they were in contention for power but today it is BJP''s time and no one is in a position to fight the BJP," he said.The RPI (A) president said his party will start a "Bahujan Samaj Kalyan Yatra" from Ghaziabad on September 26 and it will culminate in Lucknow with a rally on December 18, in which BJP president J P Nadda and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will participate.