NEW DELHI: The Republican Party of India (RPI) will contest 15-20 seats in the upcoming West Bengal assembly elections, RPI chief Ramdas Athawale informed on Friday.
Speaking to ANI, Athawale said, "Looking at the current situation in West Bengal, I think Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will come into power. Mamata Banerjee has been in power for 10 years. Now people want a change. The Republican Party of India will contest on 15-20 seats in West Bengal and support BJP there."
RPI is an ally of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the BJP.
Asked about the alleged attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday in Nandigram, the Union Minister said, "I do not know who attacked Mamata Banerjee or what the plan was. It is a matter of investigation. I do not think there is any politics involved in the incident. She was not attacked ever before. How can someone do it now?"
Banerjee, who was on a two-day visit to Nandigram from where she filed her nomination on Wednesday, alleged that she was pushed by few unidentified people during her election campaigning.
Banerjee sustained "severe bony injuries" on her left foot and ankle as well as bruises and injuries on her shoulder, forearm and neck, according to the report of her initial medical examination.
The BJP has released the list of 60 candidates for the first two phases of the elections so far.
Elections in West Bengal will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
The state is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance, and the BJP in the fray.