Barely months before the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) on Tuesday broke its alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and pulled out of the government on the plea that the latter was ignoring the interests of sugarcane farmers.
Making the announcement, RLD president Ajit Singh said the three RLD ministers in the UP ministry had sent him their resignations, and these would be forwarded to Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Those who resigned are Kaukab Hamid, Virendra Singh and Swami Omvesh. UP Flood Control Commission chairperson Anuradha Chaudhury, a key RLD member who held cabinet rank, also quit her post. “There is no question of any reconsideration of the issue,” said Ajit Singh.
He was, however, ambiguous on the question of withdrawal of support to the Yadav government. He said with two months left for assembly elections, the current House was unlikely to meet. “Our support is immaterial,” he said.
Reacting to the development, Yadav said his party wanted to continue the alliance with the RLD but the latter was free to take its own decision. Rebutting Ajit Singh’s charge about sugarcane farmers, Yadav said his government had given an adequate support price for sugarcane, and payments had been made in time.
Later in the day, Yadav called an emergency cabinet meeting in the wake of the resignations.