SP- BSP ties may cost NDA 25- 30 seats: Athawale

Min­is­ter in­vites Maya to join NDA

The Asian Age - - Nation - AMITA VERMA

Union min­is­ter Ram­das Athawale has said that if the SP- BSP al­liance con­tin­ued till the 2019 Lok Sabha elec­tions, it might cost the BJP- led NDA about 25 to 30 seats.

“The SP- BSP may dam­age the BJP and its al­lies by win­ning some 25- 30 ( Lok Sabha) seats. But, the BJP will still get more than 50 seats,” he said.

How­ever, he main­tained that there was no chal­lenge to the lead­er­ship of Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi.

Talk­ing to re­porters here on Fri­day, Mr Athawale in­vited BSP pres­i­dent Mayawati to join the NDA if she was gen­uinely in­ter­ested in the em­pow­er­ment of dal­its.

“If the BSP joins us, we will win all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP. The Sa­ma­jwadi Party is be­tray­ing the BSP, as it did in the re­cent Ra­jya Sabha elec­tions, and the wel­fare of dal­its could be guar­an­teed only in the NDA,” he as­serted.

The min­is­ter, who heads the Repub­li­can Party of In­dia ( A), added, “No one can chal­lenge Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi — nei­ther Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi, nor SP chief Akhilesh Ya­dav, nor BSP supremo Mayawati.”

The BJP and its al­lies had won 73 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP in 2019

If the BSP joins us, we will win all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP. The SP is be­tray­ing the BSP... The wel­fare of dal­its could be guar­an­teed only in the NDA. — Ram­das Athawale,

Union min­is­ter

and BJP pres­i­dent Amit Shah has al­ready said that his party was work­ing to­wards win­ning all 80 seats this time.

In 2014, the Congress had won two seats, while the Sa­ma­jwadi Party had won five seats which in­creased to seven af­ter SP vic­tory in two Lok Sabha by­elec­tions in Go­rakh­pur and Phulpur.

The BSP did not win even a sin­gle seat in 2014.

Laud­ing the work done by BJP gov­ern­ments, Mr Athawale said that there had been at­tacks on dal­its in the name of “gau rak­sha” but CM Yogi Adityanath had taken ef­fec­tive steps to con­trol the sit­u­a­tion.

Re­ply­ing to a ques­tion, the min­is­ter said that in­clu­sion of “Ramji” in the name of Dr B. R. Ambed­kar was a wel­come step and thanked UP gov­er­nor Ram Naik and CM Yogi Adityanath for the de­ci­sion.

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