The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has come unstuck in Uttar Pradesh with the saffron party's main ally the Janata Dal (United) deciding to go it alone in the seven-phase state assembly elections from February 4-28.
Signalling the parting of ways in the state, Janata Dal (U) national president Sharad Yadav on Wednesday announced a list of 32 candidates, including Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Brijesh Saurabh Mishra from Pratapgarh. The BSP had denied him a ticket. Rajesh Yadav, who was nominated by the BJP from Gunnaur (Budaun), has now become a JD (U) candidate. The party has also given tickets to Mahendra Singh Yadav, the husband of former chief secretary Neera Yadav from Sikandra (Bulandshahr), and farmer leader Manveer singh Tewatia from Jewar (Noida).
The two parties fell out after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) reportedly played hardball over the JD (U) request for 25 seats.
"There is no NDA in UP," JD (U) state president Suresh Niranjan Bhayya told HT on the phone, adding that the bigger partner did not respond to its overtures.
In alliance with BJP, the JD (U) had contested three Lok Sabha seats in 2009 but won none. Virtually a non-entity in UP politics, the party has failed to do well in elections here since 2002. While its poll percentage in the 2002 assembly election was 0.59, it came down to 0.42 in 2007 and further dipped to 0.14 in 2009 parliamentary polls.
The BJP's decision to induct tainted former ministers Babu Singh Kushwaha and Badshah Singh has also not gone down well with the JD (U) whose general secretary Subhash Pathak said the move would adversely affect the BJP which had been criticising Kushwaha for his alleged involvement in the NRHM scandal thus far.
Pathak said his party was opposed to such an induction and would not field any leader accused of corruption.
He declared Sharad Yadav and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar would campaign for the party candidates in the state.