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SP-BSP alliance may cost BJP 25-30 Lok Sabha seats in UP: Ramdas Athawale

A consolidation of OBC, Dalit and Muslim votes powered Samajwadi Party candidates to victory in Gorakhpur, a seat represented by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for five successive terms, and Phulpur, from where his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya was elected in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow | Updated: March 30, 2018 10:01:41 pm
SP-BSP alliance may cost BJP 25-30 LS seats in UP: Athawale “The SP-BSP may damage the BJP and its allies by winning some 25-30 (Lok Sabha) seats. But, the BJP will get more than 50 seats. However, this will not prevent the BJP-led NDA from returning to power at the Centre after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls,” Athawale said. 

Central minister Ramdas Athawale, whose RPI faction is part of the ruling NDA, Friday said that the SP-BSP alliance could “cause some damage” and wean away 25-30 seats from the BJP in Uttar Pradesh in the next Lok Sabha elections. He, however, maintained that the BJP would still be able to form a government at the Centre.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP took 71 of the 80 seats in the state while ally Apna Dal won two seats.
Addressing a press conference in Lucknow, Athawale, who is Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment in the Modi government, said it was his belief that the BJP might get 50-plus seats and the SP-BSP 25-30 seats in the next Lok Sabha.

Since there is always some plus-minus in politics, he said, the BJP will have 25-30 fewer seats in Uttar Pradesh. But the party, he said, would benefit in other states and again form a government at the Centre.

Welcoming UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s decision to address Babasaheb Ambedkar as Babasaheb Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar — Ramji being his father’s name — Athawale, a Dalit leader from Maharashtra, said that in his state it is a tradition to write one’s father’s name before the surname.

Athawale said that including “Ramji” as the middle name had nothing to do with Lord Ram of the Hindu pantheon. And because there was no law against it, there should be no politics on the matter, he said.
He attacked the SP-BSP alliance, saying the SP was “cheating” BSP and had it wanted BSP candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar to win the
Rajya Sabha seat from UP, it should have given the first preference vote to the BSP candidate. Athawale invited Mayawati to join hands with the NDA so that Ram Vilas Paswan, Mayawati and he could together speak for the Dalits.

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