Failing to come on board in Uttar Pradesh’s “secular alliance”, Chaudhary Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has opened up avenues for an informal tie-up with the BJP for the assembly polls.
“The option of joining the Samajwadi Party-Congress platform is off. Our party will contest 70 seats in alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Janata Dal (United), JD (Secular) and the Mahaan Dal”, RLD general secretary Trilok Tyagi said.
While leaders of the NCP, JD (U) and the JD(S) are ambivalent on this, indications are that RJD leader Lalu Prasad and JD (U) President Nitish Kumar will campaign in favor of the formation led by Akhilesh Yadav.
“A decision about this will be taken tonight by top leaders of the RJD and the JD (U)”, sources said. In UP’s political environment that seems poised for a triangular contest between the BJP, BSP and the SP-Congress alliance, sections are apprehensive that the party could be pushed to further political irrelevance, if it pursued a “go-it-alone” strategy. While last-ditch efforts to come on board the SP-Congress platform are still on, the RLD has also opened up doors with the saffron party, sources said.
New SP boss Akhilesh Yadav is said to hold reservations that an alliance with the RLD could jeopardize his party’s standing among Muslim voters in Western UP. In SP’s perception, the RLD has been demanding a share of seats far in excess to the political strength it commands.
While the SP is willing to concede 25 seats, while the RLD wants no less than 40 seats, sources said. Singh’s own unpredictability — given his tendency to flirt with the BJP on occasions –was also said to be a factor leading to a deadlock , they added.