There is east-west divide in Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) over electoral alliance with the Samajwadi Party. While the party leader under the leadership of general secretary Munna Singh Chauhan in eastern UP has been trying to break alliance, the western UP leaders under chairperson Flood Control commission and MP Anuradha Chaudhury want to continue the pact. However, both have their own reasons for keeping or breaking the alliance.
While Chauhan feeling the pulse of Poorvanchal people has been desperately trying to convince the party chief Chaudhury Ajit Singh to snap ties as soon as possible, the Jat leader is under pressure of Anuradha Chaudhury to mend ways with the Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.
There is a feeling in the Anuradha camp that the party is not in a position to take on the fast emerging BSP all alone in western UP. The camp has reasoned that even though SP doesn't have much clout in "Jatland" it could help boosting the prospects of RLD in retaining its base, which was under threat because of resentment among Muslims.
It would also help in avoiding division of votes. While Imam Ahmad Bukhari led United Democratic Front has been making efforts to make dent in the Jat-Muslim combination of RLD, the widening rift between Jat-Jatav has further queered pitch for the party.
Last month clash between the two castes in Bijnore had amply demonstrated the prevailing tension. The BSP has been trying to cash in on caste tension. On the other the SP-RLD leaders are also at loggerheads in western UP.
The eastern UP leaders have argued that the party would not be able to ward off anti-incumbency in case of continued alliance. But inexplicably Ajit Singh is not in hurry to decide about the alliance. His 'decision-will-be taken-soon' statement has been going on for the last two months. He wants to keep everybody on tenterhooks, as the RLD is the only party, which is yet to open the cards. However, Singh is not happy with the government over the inordinate delay in the announcement of state support price for sugarcane.
Singh in a letter to the chief minister on Tuesday demanded immediate announcement of fresh prices. He said the crushing season had already started but the farmers were not being paid even last year's support price of Rs 115, Rs 120 per quintal. Singh expressed concern over the exploitation of sugarcane farmers. Singh has sought the intervention of the chief minister to protect the interest of farmers, especially in eastern UP.
Email Masoodul Hasan: mhasan @hindustantimes.com