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RLD bet on the wrong horse again

Verdict 2012 is out and so are self-styled psephologists. Brajendra K Parashar reports.
Hindustan Times | By Brajendra K Parashar, Lucknow
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2012 02:28 AM IST

Verdict 2012 is out and so are self-styled psephologists.

As if the drubbing at the hands of the Samajwadi Party (SP) was not enough, on Tuesday senior Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leaders were panning Ajit Singh’s decision to strike a friendship with the Congress.

"Chaudhary Saab gave priority to an alliance with the Congress since he wanted to be a minister in the UPA government and also share power in UP in the event of the Congress-RLD coming to power in the state," said a party leader.

What he meant, and perhaps wished for, was that Singh should have instead bet on the winning horse — the SP — which would have been a more natural ally. Singh had fielded his MP son Jayant Chaudhary from Mant constituency against Shyam Sunder Sharma, often described as the chanakya of UP politics. Jayant fought the fierce jat-versus-others war, and even came out victorious. But, in the event of the SP romping home with an absolute majority, his victory came a cropper. Singh had sold Jayant to the Jatland as the future CM. He had visualised a situation where the son could get a chance to lead the next government in UP as a consensus candidate of the Congress-RLD and the SP. That could well have been the scene if the SP fell short of numbers and the Congress-RLD had propped it up on the hot seat.

Predictably, the pall of gloom lay thick over the party headquarters in Lucknow. “The results have certainly disappointed us. We will try to figure out the reasons,” was all that RLD’s state spokesperson Anil Dubey said.

A few party functionaries at the Triloki Nath office were worried about their own future. “We were looking forward to participation in governance, now we have no option but to wait for another five years,” said an RLD worker, gloomily watching the results on a TV screen. “The same happened in 2007 when the BSP got an absolute majority,” he recalled.

For now, the one most pressing concern for Jayant is whether he should remain an MP or sit in the assembly and, perhaps take a lesson from Akhilesh.

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