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Rift in SP to help BJP in UP polls: Athawale

  • Rift in SP to help BJP in UP polls: Athawale

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18:54 HRS IST

Raipur, Dec 31 (PTI) Republican Party of India (RPI) president and Union Minister Ramdas Athawale today claimed that the "ongoing rift within Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh will certainly benefit BJP" in the upcoming assembly polls in that state.

He also claimed that his party can play a vital role in ensuring Dalit votes to BJP to capture power in the Uttar Pradesh.

"BJP is doing well in Chhattisgarh and therefore they are being voted to power again and again here. Congress is fighting among themselves (in Chhattisgarh). There in UP, clash is underway within Samajwadi Party," the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Athawale told reporters here.

"Dispute within Congress benefits BJP and now feud within SP would be beneficial for the BJP in UP (polls)," he added.

" We are trying that RPI and BJP would contest UP election in alliance we can get Dalit votes to BJP to ensure victory of their candidates and could be a good support (for the saffron party). I spoke to union minister Rajnath Singh yesterday and even he said BJP could get benefit of RPI," he said.

Athawale also said, "only Mayawati does not have rights over Dalit votes but RPI too has. RPI is the actual party of Babasaheb Ambedkar." 

"If we will contest UP polls in alliance with BJP, then we will be fielding candidates in 15-20 seats but in case we enter in the fray alone, we will fight in 150-200 seats," he added.

The Minister, however, said that even if his party's nominees will secure victory while fighting without any alliance in the UP polls, they will later extend support to the BJP.

Athawale further asserted that inter-caste marriages should be encouraged to bridge the gap between different sections of the society.

"In Chhattisgarh, only 170 inter-caste marriages had taken place in in 2015-16. Though the figures are encouraging in comparison to previous years, 2013-14 where 90 marriages and 2014-15 where 80 marriages, had taken place, these mostly are love marriages," said the Union Minister.

"The state government should encourage arranged inter-caste marriages", he said.

According to the Minister, in this regard he will soon write to Chief Minister Raman Singh.