June 30, 2021 3:16:37 am
In an ostensible pressure tactic or a bid to expand the party’s base beyond Bihar, the JD(U) Tuesday said that it will contest more than 200 seats in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh if the BJP does not respond to its call for an alliance for the 2022 state polls.
The JD(U) had withdrawn from the contest in the last moments ahead of the 2017 UP polls as the party was preparing to return to the NDA.
JD(U) principal general secretary and national spokesperson K C Tyagi told The Indian Express: “I have already conveyed our party’s desire for an alliance with BJP to UP CM Yogi Adityanath. He has not yet responded to our call.”
Tyagi said the party has organised itself in UP and held several meetings in the state, especially in the Poorvanchal belt. He said if there was no alliance, the party will contest over 200 seats in the state which has a sizable Koeri-Kurmi population. “We are looking for Ruhailkhand (Bareilli and adjoining areas), central UP and Poorvanchal (Varanasi and neighbouring districts). There are at least 16 districts where we can look to field candidates,” he said.
Asked if this was a pressure tactic as there has been no word on a JD(U) seat in a speculated Union cabinet expansion, Tyagi said: “There is no relation between the two. Our leader Nitish Kumar has also made it clear that his recent visit to Delhi was personal and it had nothing to do with any cabinet expansion…We have contested in other states in the past as every political party has the right to make attempts to expand its base.”
“Our leader Nitish Kumar along with the party’s parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha and party’s national president RCP Singh will have their impact on UP voters as well.”
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