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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

SP, RLD discuss seat sharing, deal likely soon

Sources said that for the upcoming elections, the SP is likely to leave the western UP districts of Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Aligarh and Mathura to the RLD.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
November 24, 2021 2:35:32 am
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav tweeted, "Towards a change with (RLD chief) Jayant Chaudhary." (Twitter/Akhilesh Yadav)

Ahead of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav met Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) national president Jayant Chaudhary in Lucknow on Tuesday afternoon to discuss a possible seat-sharing formula. Sources said a formal announcement would be made soon.

While the two parties fought the 2017 elections separately, for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the RLD was part of the Grand Alliance with the SP and BSP. The RLD lost all the three seats it contested then — Baghpat, Mathura and Muzaffarnagar.

Sources said that for the upcoming elections, the SP is likely to leave the western UP districts of Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Aligarh and Mathura to the RLD.

After his meeting with Akhilesh, Jayant tweeted a picture of the two of them captioned, “Badhte kadam (Step forward).”

Akhilesh too tweeted a photograph with Jayant captioned, “Shri Jayant Chaudhary ji ke saath badlaav ki aur (With Jayant Chaudhary, towards change).”

SP spokesperson Rajendra Choudhary said a formal announcement on the seat-sharing formula would be made soon.

In the 2017 state elections, when the two parties failed to reach an understanding, the RLD had contested 277 seats, winning just one – Chhaprauli (Baghpat) — with a vote share of 2.59 per cent in the seats it contested. The SP, which allied with the Congress, contested 311 of the 403 seats, winning 47 of those with a vote share of 28.32 per cent.

The latest seat-sharing talks are part of the SP’s plan to bring together smaller parties for the upcoming elections. The SP has already sealed an alliance with Om Prakash Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) — a BJP ally in the 2017 polls. Along with SBSP, the Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha, a grouping of smaller parties headed by Rajbhar, will be part of the SP-led alliance.

With farmers from the sugarcane bowl of western UP agitated over the three farm laws, Jayant, who was appointed national president of the RLD after his father and former Union minister Ajit Singh died in May, had led a series of mahapanchayats in the region. “The talks are still on, but the RLD should get around 30-35 seats in western UP,” said a senior SP leader.

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