On Tuesday, the SP-BSP alliance announced an additional partner, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), and said it would contest three Lok Sabha seats of Uttar Pradesh in the coming elections. These are Baghpat, Meerut and Muzaffarnagar, in all three of which the RLD or its then allies put up strong performances in 2004 and 2009, but failed miserably in 2014.
The RLD had three different alliance partners in these elections — SP in 2004, BJP in 2009, Congress in 2014.
Baghpat was won by RLD chief Ajit Singh in 2004 as well as 2009, but he finished third in 2014, with his vote slashed by half. In Meerut, the RLD finished second in 2004, helped BJP win in alliance in 2009, but failed to lift its next alliance partner in 2014, with the Congress polling just 4%.
Muzaffarnagar, meanwhile, was won by RLD ally SP in 2004, then saw the RLD finish second in 2009. In 2014, its ally Congress polled 1%. The BJP won all three seats in 2014.
The RLD won 3 seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2004, 5 seats in 2009 and none in 2014. Having contested a limited number of seats as an alliance partner of various parties, it has had a low vote share as a percentage of votes polled across the state.