Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) vice-president Jayant Chaudhary Wednesday met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow and held discussions on a seat-sharing arrangement for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
The meeting took place at the Samajwadi Party headquarters. It comes in the backdrop of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party announcing their alliance, Saturday, leaving the RLD miffed. The RLD had earlier said talks for finding a place in the alliance were on. Jayant has demanded six of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP.
“It was a good discussion (on seat sharing) with Akhilesh and you will know the outcome soon,” Jayant told reporters after the meeting. Reports said that the two leaders have also arrived at a rough agreement on seat sharing.
However, according to the 12 January announcement by BSP supremo Mayawati, the two major alliance partners took 38 seats each for themselves, leaving only two for RLD, even as they claimed that smaller parties would be accommodated.
CNN-News18 quoted RJD sources to report that efforts were on to get one more seat from the alliance to at least accomodate the top leadership of the party. The TV channel said that the last leg of negotiations were on to work out a formula where three seats — Mathura, Baghpat and Muzaffarnagar — are given to RLD, cutting out one more seat from Samajwadi Party’s quota. Additionally, an SP candidate will contest election from Jat-dominated Hathras seat on RLD symbol to ensure amalgamation of SP’s traditional vote bank with RLD’s Jat support base.
The report said that RLD chief Ajit Singh will contest from Muzaffarnagar while Jayant will be the alliance candidate from Baghpat.
The Samajwadi Party and BSP have decided to leave Amethi and Rae Bareli — held by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi — uncontested even though they do not have an official understanding or alliance with the party. The official reason cited for this decision was, that the alliance did not want to allow the BJP to tie down Sonia and Rahul in their respective seats. Mayawati said we want the Congress leaders to campaign against the saffron party with full steam in other parts of the nation.