A day after allies Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) decided to go their separate ways for the upcoming by-elections in 11 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, the third member of their grand alliance, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), indicated that it may contest the bypolls in some seats on its own. “It is Mayawati ji who exited the alliance for the bypolls. We were an ally of the Samajwadi Party and not of the BSP in the gathbandhan [grand alliance]. We will definitely contest the bypolls in some seats. The party with its top leaders will decide about the number of seats it will contest and how,” said RLD state president Masood Ahmed.“The seats that the RLD contested in the recent Lok Sabha polls were all from the SP’s quota,” Ahmed added. The SP, led by Akhilesh Yadav, had joined hands with the Mayawati-led BSP and the RLD to fight the Lok Sabha polls in the state. The BSP contested 38 seats, the SP 37, and the RLD 3. The alliance, however, failed to stop the march of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which 64 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state.The BSP was been the only gainer in the alliance, winning 10 seats in 2019 as compared with the complete rout it had faced in 2014. The SP, which five seats in 2014, could not increase its tally. The RLD again failed to open its account. RLD president Ajit Singh and his son Jayant Chaudhary lost from Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat Lok Sabha seats respectively, while Kunwar Narendra Singh lost from Mathura. Now, the party is expecting to contest some seats in its western UP base.Ahmed, however, expressed hope that the “gathbandhan” will remain intact in future contests.“We hope that the gathbandhan stays and expands to emerge as a force against the BJP,” he said.The assembly bypolls are important for the RLD as it has no representation in the UP legislative assembly. The by-elections were necessitated because 11 MLAs have been elected to the Lok Sabha. Among them, nine are from BJP, and one each from the SP and the BSP.