Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) formally joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
The alliance of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections might badly dampen the prospects of the BJP in Western Uttar Pradesh where it had won all the 14 seats in the last Parliamentary elections of 2014.
Western UP has three divisions, namely Meerut, Saharanpur, and Moradabad.
The SP- BSP alliance and RLD had performed very well in the by-elections for the Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur Assembly constituencies. But while announcing the alliance in Lucknow on Saturday, both Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav made no mention of Ajit Singh’s RLD, whose candidate Tabassum Hasan, with support from the SP-BSP and Congress had managed to win the tough election of Kairana, defeating BJP’s Mriganka Singh, daughter of party heavyweight Hukum Singh.
It was speculated that the RLD would be a part of the alliance again but the announcement has come as a shocker to many. Still, the RLD leaders are hopeful of finding a place in this alliance as their party vice-president Jayant had a meeting with Akhilesh Yadav recently to discuss the issue of seat sharing.
The SP and BSP have left two seats which are considered to be for the RLD, even though it wanted five seats from the SP-BSP alliance in Western UP.
According to political analysts, whatsoever is the seat-sharing formula in Western UP, the alliance is sure to put a tough challenge before the BJP and might even reverse the results of the previous election. In the 2014 election from Meerut, Saharanpur, and Moradabad divisions, the BJP had made a clean sweep winning all 14 Lok Sabha constituencies. During that time the ‘Modi Wave’ was at its peak and even RLD leader Ajit Singh and his son Jayant Chaudhary had lost their traditional seats of Baghpat and Mathura. It is worth mentioning that Baghpat seat is considered to be ‘earmarked’ for Ajit Singh.
RLD is hopeful of reviving it’s winning ways by following the ‘Muslims and Jats’ formula in this election after its success in the Kairana election. It is still assumed that the alliance will work out the winning formula of Muslim-Jat-Dalit in Western UP to keep the BJP at bay.
“Things are moving as per plan and the alliance with RLD as a partner will win all 14 seats of western UP,” said Sunil Rohta, RLD spokesperson.
“The situation is very different now since 2014 when RLD failed to get a single seat. The results were affected largely due to the divisive politics of BJP and the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 which had created a rift between Jats and Muslims,” said a party leader.
“But all these years, the father and son duo Ajit Singh and Jayant Chaudhary have worked hard and has been successful in bringing together Jats and Muslims who together have won many elections for them. Also, they have revived and rejuvenated the party and filled the party workers with new vigour and enthusiasm. Hence it is highly speculated that the trio will once again be seen contesting together in this election against the BJP,” he added.
Samajwadi Party`s district president Rajpal Singh believes that the alliance of these three parties will make a clean sweep in Western UP. He said that RLD and Samajwadi Party have always been together and in the forthcoming elections their alliance will give sleepless nights to BJP.
The political analysts believe that keeping the Congress at bay is a well-calculated move of the alliance as it shares the vote bank of BJP which will be benefitting the alliance candidates only.
The break-up of 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in Western Uttar Pradesh: