LUCKNOW: With Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) set to open their cards while making a formal announcement of their alliance in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Chaudhary Ajit Singh claimed that his party was also “very much a part of the alliance.
“However, the number of seats is yet to be decided,” he said while interacting with media persons in Mathura on Friday.
“Jayant (Ajit Singh’s son and party’s vice-president) had met SP chief Akhilesh Yadav recently and we are very much in the grand alliance. However, there have been no talks yet on the number of seats,” said Ajit Singh adding that he had no idea about Akhilesh and Mayawati’s joint press conference on Saturday in Lucknow.
Notably, as per the seat-sharing formula agreed upon between the SP and BSP leaders, both the parties will contest on 37 seats each. Neither of the two will field candidates on Amethi and Rae Bareli of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and RLD will be given two seats—Baghpat and Mathura – in western UP. Remaining two seats have been left open for last minute allies.
However, as per the sources, the RLD has demanded six seats of jat belt including, Baghpat, Mathura, Amroha, Bijnor, Hathras and Muzaffarnagar in western UP where jats make 17-30 per cent of the total population. However, RLD has opted out of Kairana, the seat which they won in October, 2018 bypoll.
While Ajit Singh contests from his stronghold Baghpat, his son Jayant Choudhary is likely to contest from Mathura. BJP MP from Mathura, Hema Malini had defeated Jayant from Mathura constituency in 2014.
Asked why the Congress was left out of the grand alliance in UP, Singh said, “It was a decision taken by SP and BSP. Whatever they have decided will be final.” Akhilesh and BSP supremo Mayawati are all set to address a joint press conference on Saturday, the first after both the parties gave contours of an electoral alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
This will be exactly after 25 years that both the parties will be coming together to contest the elections against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Earlier, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Kanshi Ram had joined hands to contest the elections in 1993.