SP-BSP poll alliance: RLD likely to wait and watch before making any move
Mayawati announced that the BSP and the SP will contest 38 Lok Sabha seats each while the alliance will field no candidate in Rae Bareli and Amethi, the constituencies of Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi respectively. This leaves only two out of UP’s 80 Lok Sabha seatslok sabha elections Updated: Jan 13, 2019 17:21 IST
The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) appears to have no room left in the ‘long-awaited’ electoral alliance jointly announced by Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Saturday.
Mayawati announced that the BSP and the SP will contest 38 Lok Sabha seats each while the alliance will field no candidate in Rae Bareli and Amethi, the constituencies of Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi respectively.
This leaves only two vacancies given the fact that there are 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP. But even whether these two seats have been left for the RLD is not clear since the BSP chief said the remaining seats had been left for the ‘allies’ without mentioning the RLD’s name.
The announcement of the alliance minus the RLD is said to have upset its national president Ajit Singh and vice-president Jayant Chaudhary, both of whom put their cellphones in the switch-off mode minutes after the joint press conference was over.
Chaudhary was scheduled to flag off a motor cycle rally in Lucknow on Saturday, but he is learnt to have cancelled the programme after the news about Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav holding a press conference to announce the alliance the same day without taking the RLD on board came.
Indications are the RLD may not accept the offer even if it is presumed that the remaining two seats are left for it only, though the party might like to wait for some time before it makes a new move.
“We are still hopeful that the RLD will find a place in the SP-BSP led alliance as promised by Akhilesh Yadav to our leader Jayant Chaudhay during their meeting in Luckow early this week,” RLD spokesman Anil Dubey said, hurriedly adding, “But we must be offered a respectable number of seats even if we are willing to surrender to some extent in the larger interest of defeating the BJP.”
The RLD, according to Dubey, will like to wait for the new alliance to accommodate it respectfully before the party considered any other alternative.
The party sources said Ajit Singh had put claim on five seats - Baghpat, Amroha, Hathras, Mathura and Muzaffarnagar - while Mayawati, they claimed, was not ready to leave any seats other than Baghpat and Mathura.
“There are two possibilities now. One is Akhilesh may leave two-three additional seats from his party’s quota of 38 seats to accommodate the RLD and the second possibility is that the RLD may become a part of the Congress-led alliance that is most likely to be formed after the grand old party too was not taken into the SP-BSP alliance,” sources said, adding, “The possibility of the RLD joining hands with the BJP cannot be ruled out either.”
The RLD wields a considerable influence over a dozen Lok Sabha seats in western UP, which it may not win on its own but may make a lot of difference if it contests in an alliance with a big party. The party had won five seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections which it had fought in an alliance with the BJP.
First Published: Jan 13, 2019 17:21 IST