Ajit Singh’s induction in UPA Cabinet likely | india | Hindustan Times
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Ajit Singh’s induction in UPA Cabinet likely

india Updated: Jun 24, 2010 17:35 IST
Masoodul Hasan

The Rashtriya Lok Dal leaders have been eagerly waiting for the induction of their president Chaudhury Ajit Singh into Congress-led UPA government.

Singh is scheduled to return from the US visit on Thursday.

While the State RLD leaders have firmly ruled out merger of the party into Congress they are open to poll pact. There is strong feeling in the party about RLD-Congress electoral pact for 2012 assembly elections in the state.

Party sources said here on Thursday that Singh was in touch with the Congress leadership over joining the UPA government.

When the talks started few months ago the Congress mooted the proposal for merger but Ajit Singh firmly ruled out its possibility.

The emerging cozy relationship between the two parties is largely because of frienship between AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi and RLD MP from Mathura Jayant Chaudhury.

Senior RLD leader Munna Singh Chauhan told Hindustan Times that some positive results were likely soon.

"Talks are still on”, Chauhan said and added the RLD had some issues which needed to be thrashed out.

Chauhan said “reservation to Jats in western UP is one of the major issues”. The RLD in the past had also asked for reservation to well-entrenced Gujjar community.

The Congress has been desperately trying to widen its base in Western UP which has 125 assembly seats in 22 districts. There is feeling in the Congress that poll pact with RLD might help in getting Jat support in the region.

While facing massive anti-incumbency in 2007 assembly elections the RLD had won ten seats. But in 2009 Lok Sabha election, the party in alliance with BJP succeeded in winning four seats. The RLD has now distanced itself from the NDA.

The RLD general secretary secretary Anil Dubey said the party’s western UP agenda also included demand for separate Harit Pradesh state, High Court bench and Bharat Ratna for former Prime Minister Chaudhury Charan Singh.

The RLD always thrived on Jat-Muslim combination in Western UP. With Muslims looking towards the Congress, the support from Jat community would thus enhance the party's prospects.