THERE IS an east-west divide in the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) over breaking and keeping of the electoral alliance with the Samajwadi Party. While party leaders, led by general secretary Munna Singh Chauhan, in eastern UP, have been trying to break alliance with the SP, 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 breaking or keeping 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 chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav. There is feeling in Anuradha camp that the party is not in a position to take on fast emerging BSP alone in western UP.
The camp has reasoned that even though SP doesn’t have much clout in “Jatland” it could help in boosting the prospects of RLD to retain its base, which was under threat because of resentment among Muslims. It would also help in avoiding vote division. While Imam Ahmad Bukhari led United Democratic Front has been making efforts to make dent in Jat-Muslim combination of RLD, 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 hand, the SP-RLD leaders are also at loggerhead 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 Choudhary is not in a hurry to decide on the alliance.
His “decision-will-be-taken-soon” statement has been doing rounds 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 inordinate delay in 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 that crushing season had already started but the farmers were not being paid even last year’s support price of Rs 115 and Rs 120 per quintal. Singh expressed concern over exploitation of sugarcane farmers. Singh has sought the intervention of the chief minister to protect the interest of farmers, especially in eastern UP. email@example.com