Jayant, Akhilesh likely to hold meeting on seat sharing for UP polls
Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Chaudhary Jayant Singh and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav are expected to meet in Lucknow in a day or two to end the purported logjam over seat sharing between the two parties for the UP polls, RLD leaders aware of the developments said.
“We guess that Chaudhary Jayant Singh is arriving here on Thursday to have a meeting with SP national president Akhilesh Yadav to finalise the seat sharing between two poll partners for assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh,” a senior RLD leader said here requesting anonymity.
The crucial meeting will take place amid speculation about Jayant being somewhat unhappy with his SP counterpart for the latter not agreeing to the seat sharing formula as being put forward by the former. Jayant’s silence over the raids being conducted at the SP leaders’ premises and the premises of traders allegedly close to the SP is also being seen as an indication of all not being well between the two leaders.
According to party leaders, Jayant is demanding 40 Jat dominant assembly seats in western UP, while the SP is not ready to commit more than 28-30 seats to it, a situation that has resulted in a stalemate.
“The SP is changing its stand every now and then,” another RLD leader said.
“It is not only offering a fewer number of seats than what we are demanding, but also insisting that on some of the seats SP candidates contest on the RLD poll symbol. We are obviously not ready for this because of which an announcement on the seat-sharing is getting delayed,” he added.
Senior RLD leader and party national general secretary Trilok Tyagi, however, denied reports about there being any major differences over seat-sharing or any other issue between the two parties.
“The seat sharing issue will be sorted out by Jayant Chaudhary and Akhilesh Yadav in a day or two,” he claimed.
The alliance between the parties, Tyagi claimed, was firm and sought to scotch rumours that the BJP was trying to stop the RLD from going with the SP.
Jayant and Akhilesh Yadav last met at the latter’s residence in Lucknow on November 11, 2021 to give a final shape to the alliance.
After the meeting, two leaders did put out tweets confirming finalisation of the poll partnership, but the seat-sharing issue still remains unresolved even as the Election Commission is gearing up to declare the poll schedule soon.
The RLD, it is said, is trying to get as many seats out of the alliance as possible whereas the SP, the senior partner, is doing the reverse by taking the minimalist position on the seat sharing issue.
Jayant is believed to be more confident of his party performing well in western UP this time because of a “favourable” political climate created by the farmers’ agitation that continued for around a year in the region. He also hopes to get sympathy votes due to the death of his father and party founder Chaudhary Ajit Singh in April last year.
“This is probably the reason why Jayant has taken a maximalist stand on the seat sharing issue without being pragmatic,” a Samajwadi Party functionary said.
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