Ramdas Athawale says there are 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala. (File)
The Republican Party of India (RPI) chief Ramdas Athawale is keen to put up one to two candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Kerala and an equal number of candidates in Assam and Maharashtra in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Mr Athawale said: “If the BJP fails to concede to our demand of one to two seats in Kerala, then the RPI will contest at least three to four seats in the state on its own.”
“I will also talk to BJP national president Amit Shah and would ask for one or two Lok Sabha seats in Assam and Maharashtra my party candidates,” he added.
“I have talked to Kerala’s BJP unit president Sreedharan Pillai. There are 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala. If the BJP doesn’t leave a few seats for us, then we will contest on 3-4 seats on our own. But on the remaining 14-15 seats, we will support the BJP in Kerala,” Mr Athawale said.
RPI is an ally of the BJP-led NDA from Maharashtra. A Rajya Sabha legislator, Mr Athawale is Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment.