Modi minister Ramdas Athawale backs independent contesting against BJP candidate in Kerala

BJP ally and Republican Party of India President Ramdas Athawale is supporting an independent candidate contesting against the NDA in Kerala. Athawale, a minister in the Modi government, is backing Nusrat Jahan who is taking on BJP candidate KP Prakash Babu in Kozhikode Lok Sabha constituency. The minister while speaking to reporters on Friday said: The Republican Party of India is supporting Nusrat Jahan here in this Kozhikode Lok Sabha constituency. But in the other 19 constituencies, our party is also supporting NDA. The BJP has fielded KP Prakash Babu from Kozhikode who is up against Pradeepkumar Communist Party of India (Marxist)and MK Raghavan of Congress. Also read: Being an NDA ally, Athawale is supposed to back the BJP candidate in Kerala where the party has been trying to open its account. In 2014, the BJP contested on 18 of 20 seats but could not win even a single seat in the state. However, in terms of vote share, it secured the third position with 10.33 per cent vote share. Ramdas Athawale has been a minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment in the Modi government. This time, the BJP has allied with Bharath Dharma Jana Sena and Kerala Congress (Thomas). It is contesting on 15 seats while leaving 4 seats for BDJS and one for Kerala Congress. The reason for his support for Nusrat Jahan is not known. Earlier, Athawale said that the NDA will get 350 seats and BJP will get 65+ seats in Uttar Pradesh as Congress-SP-BSP are not together.