With uncertainty prevailing over the assembly election in February the Rashtriya Lok Dal president Chaudhury Ajit Singh doesn't appear to be in a hurry to part ways with chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav. However there are reports that he has been holding discussions with the Congress on seat sharing in the assembly elections.
Even though Singh told Hindustan Times in Lucknow on Thursday that the decision about electoral alliance would be announced "soon" he gave broad indication it would be only in case of the February election. Singh said with the election commission's detailed plan about revision of voter's list and distribution of identity cards, early elections appeared to be unlikely.
Singh said he was under no illusion that withdrawal of RLD support would lead to fall of Yadav government. Thus he has been weighing all options before taking the plunge. He said utter confusion was prevailing about alliances and it had further precipitated because of RLD's delay in the decision. "RLD is the only party which has to enter into an alliance," Singh said and added others had already opened their cards.
Singh, whose party got drubbing in the recently concluded local bodies elections, said the outcome of civic polls would have no bearing on assembly elections. Singh said since the BSP was not in the fray, migration of its votes was debatable. But in the assembly elections this vote would only go to BSP, he commented.
He also said that the urban body election did not cover the large assembly segments. Singh, who is not happy with the government on the law and order situation, also attacked the DGP Bua Singh for his role in the Rampur Tiraha firing in October 1994. He said such an officer had been appointed the police chief.
Apart from western UP where the party traces its roots, Singh has planned to field candidates in eastern UP also. Singh has repeatedly expressed his disenchantment with the coalition government and now there is a strong feeling in the party that the continuation of alliance with the SP would irreversibly damage the electoral prospects of the party.
Already the Jat-Muslim alliance in western UP has been showing signs of cracks. The party, however, feels that it would be able to retain its base in minority and also ward off anti-incumbency under the new alliance.
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