Will Contest Assembly Polls In 5 States As BJP Ally: Republican Party of India

New Delhi: The Republican Party of India of Tuesday said it will form an alliance with the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) for the upcoming assembly elections in five states but would contests the polls individually in case the tie-up did not materialise.

“We have decided to form alliance with BJP for the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Punjab and Uttarakhand and Manipur. If BJP disagrees to the proposed alliance, we shall fight as an individual party,” RPI chief and Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said in Delhi.

“RPI can help BJP come to power. Dalits have been voting for BJP because of RPI’s support,” said Mr Athawale whose party contested the Lok Sabha polls and Maharashtra Assembly polls as an NDA constituent.

“Around 24 per cent of the population in UP is Dalits. If BJP comes in alliance with RPI, they can win the UP elections,” he said.

Mr Athawale also said that RPI would demand 25 per cent quota for Haryana’s Jats, Gujarat’s Patels and Maharashtra’s Marathas, adding that hiking the reservation quota beyond 50 percent was a possibility.

“It is the parliament that makes the constitution. It has the right to go beyond 50 percent,” he said.

He also the RPI will start a membership drive from January targeting to take its members in excess of three crore.

Hailing the Centre’s demonetisation move, Mr Athawale said the over 93 percent of people have supported it.

“The government is against black money hoarders. Demonetisation is completely in favour of the poor. People have had to struggle and the government is concerned about it,” he added.