In the ongoing elections of the zila panchayat chairpersons, BJP’s Mathura candidate for Zila Panchayat chairperson has found an expected ally in Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which has decided to support Mamata Chaudhary, the wife of Chaudhary Laxmi Narain.
Laxmi Narain, a three-time MLA (once each with RLD, Congress and BSP during which time he was also a minister under the Mayawati regime), joined BJP a few months ago. It was Laxmi Narain’s association with the RLD in the past that the latter decided to support his BJP-candidate wife, said RLD state president Munna Singh Chauhan.
There was, however, some calculations as well that brought the two parties together, which is “only a local alliance”, the party’s Mathura district president Rajendra Singh Sikarwar explained. “While BSP won 10 seats (of the 38 zila panchayat wards), we in RLD (nine) preferred to support BJP (also with nine seats) because BJP has support of two Independent elected members. We too have support of another party worker who contested independently and won. So with the total of 21, BJP candidate can win.”
Sikarwar admitted his party did not have a strong candidate who could gather support of the required number of members to become the chairman. (Sikarwar himself had lost in the election for the membership to the zila panchayat.)
He said the RLD members were hopeful they would be able to get done “some development work” in their areas if Mamata Chaudhary was to become the chairperson.
RLD’s state chief Munna Singh, too, echoed Sikarwar’s view on the two parties coming together, making it clear that “it should not be considered as any alliance with the BJP”.
“It is merely support to its candidate and hence there should not be speculation of any alliance between the RLD and BJP in the Assembly elections,” Chauhan said. He said the RLD was not supporting candidate of any political party anywhere else barring Mathura.
BJP’s Mathura district president D P Goyal said RLD has announced to support Mamata Chaudhary because RLD expects support from BJP in development of the villages falling in their areas. Goyal too maintained the alliance in Mathura was “local and only for zila panchayat” and should not be seen as a development of any alliance for the upcoming assembly elections.
In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, RLD had contested in alliance with Congress and failed to win any seat. Its general secretary Jayant Chaudhary, who had represented Mathura as an MP in 2009, lost to BJP’s Hema Malini in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. During a recent visit to Lucknow, he had said his party was preparing to contest the UP assembly elections in 2017 alone but he had also indicated about possibility of alliance as he had said-Rajneeti pathhar ki lakeer kheench kar nahin ki jaati.
Chauhan said RLD was contesting Zila Panchayat chairman election alone in Baghpat with 13 members and it was going to support independent candidates in Agra, Aligarh and Bulandshahr.