RPI will fight UP poll with or without BJP: Union MoS Athawale

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Lucknow, Sep 11: Republican Party of India president and Union minister Ramdas Athawale today said his party is holding talks with the BJP over seat-sharing formula in Uttar Pradesh elections but would contest the poll even if it fails to reach an agreement.

He said his party has demanded 20-25 seats from the BJP and the talks in this regard has been held with party leaders Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Mishra. "After a go ahead in this regard by BJP president Amit Shah, we will field candidates. Even if our party does not have an understanding with BJP, we will still contest UP polls on over 200 seats," he added.

Uttar Pradesh

He said if his party contests the polls in alliance with BJP "we will certainly get majority here". The Dalit leader said he considers BSP supremo Maywati his "sister". "I consider Mayawati as my sister. If she comes to me as sister, I will get her meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But she should not become my rival. I am not against her. She is a bold lady of my caste and a good administrator," Athawale told reporters here.

The Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment said Mayawati is "using name of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar. And If she really follows him she should adopt Buddhism."


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