Rakhi Sawant may be the candidate contesting for an Assembly seat in 2017 Uttar Pradesh polls against BSP supremo Mayawati, if the latter contests election. Union minister and Republican Party of India chief Ramdas Athawale said that the party is considering to field actress and president of the party’s women’s wing Rakhi Sawant against the four-time former CM. “Mayawati has, for quite some time, been shying away from herself fighting polls, be it for the state Assembly or the Lok Sabha. We would like to see if she is going to change that this time. If she does, we would field Rakhi Sawant who is our women’s wing president, from the very seat the BSP chief chooses for herself,” Athawale told reporters.
The leader, who is also a minister in Narendra Modi-led NDA government said that his party was “an integral part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and hence we would like to fight the upcoming Assembly polls in alliance with the party which is our senior coalition partner.” He added that his party may go alone in the election if an alliance with the BJP is not materialised, adding that it may fight on over 200 seats. “We think it is necessary since Dalits of Uttar Pradesh have been feeling shortchanged by the BSP and they are yearning for an alternative”, Athawale, who is the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, said.