Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Monday suggested the Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati to form an alliance with the BJP for the upcoming assembly polls instead of partnering with the Samajwadi Party.
"Mayawati became Chief Minister three times after receiving BJP's support. She did not see casteism then... If Mayawati really wants to work for the Dalits, she should think about joining hands with the BJP and Prime Minister Modi," Mr Athawale told news agency ANI.
The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the BSP had formed an alliance earlier this month to jointly contest 38 seats each in Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections while leaving the other two seats to other parties.
The Union Minister called the SP-BSP alliance opportunistic.
"BSP is forming an alliance because they did not win any seat in 2014. In Uttar Pradesh elections also, they thought Mayawati will become the Chief Minister again but they were restricted to just 19 seats. That is why they have formed an alliance with their enemy (SP)," he said.
The minister added that the voters are not accepting the SP-BSP alliance as they have been raising voices against each other since a long time.
"SP-BSP alliance is only to get into power and defeat Prime Minister Modi," he added.
Mr Athawale also said the SP and the BSP feel that Congress is not a "strong party".
"I think the SP-BSP alliance on one side and Congress and others parties on other will only help BJP in Uttar Pradesh since votes will get divided."
BJP can win over 60 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and NDA will not face any problem in forming the government at the Centre, he added.
The minister also criticised Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his attacks on the Prime Minister and said that there was "no unity in the Opposition" today as seen in the recent TMC-led rally in Kolkata.
"Time and again Rahul Gandhi attacks Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This shows that the Prime Minister is moving ahead with ''Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas''. He is the powerful leader in the country today. Despite Rahul Gandhi's attacks the people are with Prime Minister Modi. He will win the upcoming general election and become the Prime Minister again," Mr Athawale said.
"There have been talks over Rahul Gandhi versus Narendra Modi but now after conducting a big rally, Mamata Banerjee has challenged Rahul Gandhi making her a bigger leader than him. There is no unity in the Opposition," he added.
On the Ayodhya land dispute case, Mr Athawale said, "It's not fair to take the law in hands and construct Ram temple in Ayodhya. The matter is currently in Supreme Court. We should wait for the court's order."
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