Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) is all set to join the UPA at the Centre as a precursor to an electoral alliance in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.
If all goes well, a formal announcement will be made shortly. A tie-up with the Congress will help the RLD consolidate the Muslim vote in western UP, where it enjoys traditional Jat support.
Top RLD sources told Hindustan Times that Singh might also get a Cabinet berth as part of the deal that was stalled earlier due to the Congress's insistence on a merger. The number of seats to be contested by the RLD isn't clear despite speculation that the Congress could let it fight 60 to 70 of the 403 seats.
The Congress has already declared that it will not have any tie-up with any of the major parties, including Samajwadi party and Bahujan Samaj Party.
Ajit Singh was part of the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led SP government, which failed to make a comeback in 2007.