Looking to woo voters from the Dalit community, the Congress is in talks with Dalit parties such as the People's Republican Party (PRP) and the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM), with a view to forming an alliance for the upcoming civic polls.
PRP chief Jogendra Kawade on Friday said that the Congress had approached him for a statewide alliance for the municipal corporation and Zilla Parishad polls.
Kawade has bargained for 24 seats in the BMC polls, a number that Congress leaders reportedly dismissed as being too high. However, the party will have to part with some of its seats and give them to any Dalit party they choose to partner. "An alliance with Kawade will help us in Vidarbha, where the PRP has presence. In Mumbai, we need an alternate Dalit platform to counter the Republican Party of India (RPI)," said a Congress functionary.
The RPI has joined hands with the Shiv Sena-BJP combine for the upcoming polls. HT had first reported that the Congress was in talks with Dalit outfits, since an internal assessment of the party had revealed that the alliance could affect results for 15-17 seats in the city.