Ajit Singh’s RLD to skip UP by-polls, back Cong candidates
Humiliated by the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has decided against contesting the forthcoming by-polls in Uttar Pradesh and instead support the candidates of its ally Congress.india Updated: Aug 25, 2014 19:01 IST
Humiliated by the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has decided against contesting the forthcoming by-polls in Uttar Pradesh and instead support the candidates of its ally Congress.
This despite the fact that nearly half-a-dozen of the assembly seats that will go the polls on September 13 fall in western UP, a region long considered the RLD’s pocket borough.
By-polls to 11 assembly seat and one Lok Sabha seat are scheduled for September 13.
The RLD decision virtually coincided with stunning reverses suffered by the BJP in four states – Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab – where by-poll results were declared on Monday.
In neighbouring Bihar, the ‘grand alliance’ of the JD-U, RJD and Congress which won six out of 10 assembly seats. The BJP managed to win only four, a loss of two seats.
“We have decided not to contest any of the assembly seats or the lone Lok Sabha seat for which by-elections will be held next month,” disclosed the leader, adding “The party will extend its support to the Congress candidates instead.”
The Congress and RLD were pre-poll allies during the Lok Sabha polls as well.
RLD chief and civil aviation minister in the UPA government, Ajit Singh did hold a meeting with party leaders including district presidents recently to sound them on the coming by-polls, a few days ago.
But the district chiefs, sources said, looked more interested in focusing on panchayat elections that are due next year.
The sources added the party felt that participating in the by-elections ran the risk of meeting the fate it did in the Lok Sabha polls and thereby further demoralising the cadre, a realisation that led to the politically expedient decision of stay away from the polls.
Sources said that the BSP’s decision to abstain itself from the bye-elections had also compounded the Ajit Singh’s dilemma.
The RLD had contested 8 Lok Sabha seats in the general elections, 2014 and lost all of them.
Both Ajit Singh and his son, then sitting MP Jayant Chaudhary, lost the elections.