IN VIEW of massive resentment among farmers in western UP against the State Government, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has started exploring the possibilities of an electoral alliance with anti-SP fronts.
The party, which is under pressure of farmers to distance itself from the SP, has established contact with the Congress and the Jan Morcha Alliance (JMA) of former Prime Minister VP Singh.
It is learnt that RLD president Chaudhury Ajit Singh had met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to discuss an alliance in UP. The Congress has long been trying to woo Ajit Singh from the SP. He was even offered a berth in the Congress-led UPA ministry. With the RLD now being completely disenchanted with the SP, the Congress has again stepped up its drive to strike a deal with the Jat leader.
The RLD, which after installation of Raj Babbar as JMA convenor, had ruled out the possibility of a tie-up with it. The party has now opened doors for negotiations. In fact, unprecedented mobilisation of farmers by JMA against Dadri power project has become a cause of concern for the RLD in western UP.
The party at its review meeting of the prevailing situation in western region has veered round to the view that JMA had the potential to damage its electoral prospects if it continued alliance with the SP. While there is a general view in the party that it should snap ties with the SP, the chairperson flood control commission Anuradha Chaudhury has been desperately lobbying in favour of the SP.
The RLD’s disillusion with the SP was further demonstrated, here on Tuesday when its youth wing leader Jayant Chaudhury, son of Ajit Singh, told newsmen that Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav’s decision to distribute unemployment allowance was extremely disappointing. He said the youths were being treated as beggars in the State. Jayant said that it was too early to claim that unemployment allowance would be converted into votes for the SP. Asserting that the State was not at all ‘shining’ Jayant said UP Development Council’s claim about Rs 72,000 crore investment could not be translated into reality.
Also, criticizing the government for entering into ‘real estate’ business to help builders, Jayant said that the party had also opposed acquisition of land for Dadri project. Earlier, Jayant addressed a youth wing conference here.