The JD(U) has decided to contest three Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh — Pilibhit, Robertsganj and Akbarpur — besides Lakshadweep and Manipur in a bid to expand its base outside Bihar.
“Our party had formed a three-member committee to take a call on some seats outside Bihar. Since we have a devoted cadre in these Lok Sabha constituencies in UP, we decided to field candidates from these seats,” JD(U) national spokesperson and former Rajya Sabha MP K C Tyagi told The Sunday Express.
He said that while Sadique Koya will be fielded from Lakshadweep, Hangkhanpao Taithul will contest from Outer Manipur. The UP candidates are Ravi Sachan from Akbarpur, Anita Jol from Robertsganj and Bharat Patel from Pilibhit.
Asked if the JD(U) would be comfortable taking on the BJP, its alliance partner in Bihar, Tyagi said: “Our main objective is to get national party status, a position Samata Party enjoyed. We have an alliance with the BJP only in Bihar, and we have all rights to expand our party elsewhere.”
CLICK HERE FOR MORE ELECTIONS NEWS
During its recent national executive in Patna, the JD(U) had made its intentions clear about contesting some Lok Sabha seats outside Bihar.
Asked if the JD(U) seemed to be playing safe by not contesting Purvanchal seats, some of which are being contested by BJP ally Apna Dal, Tyagi said: “It is true that JD(U) had earlier focused on some UP seats adjoining Bihar, but did not contest them in the Assembly polls for the sake of alliance unity. Our seat selection in UP is based on the assessment of our three-member committee.”
The RLSP, meanwhile, has been in talks with the Congress to contest some Purvanchal seats, which have a sizeable
OBC Kurmi and Kushwaha population. An RLSP source said: “There have been initial talks between RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha and a senior Congress leader at the central level. We hope to enter the UP alliance and are looking to contest four-five seats.”
A Congress leader said: “Discussions are on, but a decision has not been taken.”