The Weekend Leader - Trouble looms for BJP as JD-U, RPI seek share in UP pie

Trouble looms for BJP as JD-U, RPI seek share in UP pie




The Janata Dal-United and the Republican Party of India-Athawale may be BJP allies at the centre but the two parties are set to create problems for it in Uttar Pradesh.

Both the parties have announced their decisions to contest the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

RPI state President Pawan Gupta said: "A large number of people from the Bahujan Samaj Party are joining the RPI. Our president Ramdas Athawale has held talks with BJP President J.P. Nadda on contesting UP elections and the response has been positive."

The JD-u, on the other hand, has already stated that it will contest the UP elections even if it is not accommodated by the BJP.

JD-U General Secretary K.C. Tyagi has already said that his party was determined to contest the UP polls - with or without the BJP.

A state party leader said: "We are keen to revive our party in Uttar Pradesh. Our first choice will be to contest as part of the NDA, and we hope it works out. We have had old presence in UP since the days of the erstwhile Samata Party, though we did not contest in 2017. We had MLAs in the UP and we also had ministers in the government."

The stand taken by these two parties, who are BJP allies at the centre, has rattled the BJP leaders in UP.

"We already have allies in the Apna Dal and talks of an alliance have been fruitful with the Nishad Party too. If we keep acceding to the demands of other allies, we will be denting our own party organisation. After all, how many seats can we give away?" said a senior BJP functionary.

BJP sources said that while the JD-U would get a percentage of Kurmi votes, the RPI could get some Dalit votes.

If these two parties contest independently -- as they have announced -- they will be cutting into the BJP's vote base.

"We will try and convince these parties not to insist on seats in UP elections and jeopardise our game plan. We are hopeful of bringing them around," the functionary said.

The BJP is unlikely to leave much space for smaller parties even as the opposition is trying to stop it from returning to power.

The JD-U, on the other hand, is also determined to spread its wings in the Hindi belt and emerge stronger before the next Lok Sabha elections in 2024.-IANS

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