Having suffered a total rout in the just-concluded Lok Sabha election, which it contested in alliance with the Congress, the Rashtriya Lok Dal is contemplating going alone when the by-elections to 12 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh are announced.
A decision will be taken in the party’s executive committee meeting called RLD chief Ajit Singh on May 30 in Delhi. Singh along with his son Jayant Chaudhary and six other party candidates lost the Lok Sabha election in the state.
The by-elections to the 12 Assembly seats will be necessitated as the sitting MLAs (11 of BJP and one of Apna Dal) have been elected to the Lok Sabha.
While all the regional parties want to showcase their strength in these bypolls, it becomes more significant for RLD as five of these 12 seats fall in in west UP, the party’s traditional stronghold.
“Seeing the Lok Sabha election result, there is a demand from the workers to go alone in the Assembly bypolls. The final decision would be taken on May 30 in Delhi, where all the eight candidates, who had contested the LS election would be present,” said Munna Singh Chauhan, RLD state president.
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RLD had won five seats in west UP in 2009 Lok Sabha, when it was an alliance partner of the BJP, but drew a zero this time.
While Ajit lost Baghpat seat to Satya Pal Singh of BJP, his son Jayant Chaudhary, who was sitting MP from Mathura, lost to BJP’s Hema Malini. Loss of party chief from the seat, which he had held for six terms since 1989 (except 1998), came as a bigger shock to the party.
However, not all within the party are in favour of breaking the alliance with the Congress. “Only five of these seats — Kairana, Saharanpur, Bijnore, Gautam Budh Nagar and Thakurdwara— are in west UP, but what about two seats in Bundelkhand — Mahoba and Hamirpur — and five others in central and eastern UP? We would ultimately have to depend on someone for these other seats,” a senior party leader said.
Meanwhile, even Congress after its dismal performance in recent polls is undecided on the alliance. RLD at present has eight and Congress has 28 MLAs in the Assembly.