Union minister and RPI (A) chief Ramdas Athawale on Wednesday held a meeting with party workers here ahead of the general elections this year. The politically crucial Uttar Pradesh sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. "A meeting of party workers from different parts of the state was held at Jhulelal Maidan in the state capital. I came here to strengthen the party, which was quite active and strong in Uttar Pradesh when Chaudhary Charan Singh was the chief minister," Athawale told PTI.
He said he came here to "protect my land (vote-bank) which has been encroached by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)". The Minister of State for Social Justice also showered praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the latter's vision of taking everyone along.
"People of Uttar Pradesh know that SP and BSP were once arch enemies. Why have they joined hands now? Only to defeat Narendra Modiji. All people are not happy with this alliance," he said.
Athawale also claimed that the BJP will win 300 seats in the general elections, thanks to the various welfare schemes of the Centre and the "strong image" of the prime minister. The Republican Party of India (A) chief said his party wished to contest three seats in the northern state and had spoken to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath regarding the same.
"If the BJP does not give us any seat, we will contest (as an independent) on some of the seats, while on others, we will support the BJP," he said.