Uttar pradesh

RLD U.P. president quits, accuses SP of undermining alliance partners

RLD U.P. president Masood Ahmed has accused SP president Akhilesh Yadav and RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary of taking money in lieu of party tickets and failing to address Dalit and Muslim issues. File

RLD U.P. president Masood Ahmed has accused SP president Akhilesh Yadav and RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary of taking money in lieu of party tickets and failing to address Dalit and Muslim issues. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Signifying a churn in the relationship between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in the aftermath of U.P. Assembly polls, RLD State president Masood Ahmed wrote an explosive letter to party president Chaudhary Jayant Singh on Saturday, accusing him and SP president Akhilesh Yadav of taking money in lieu of party tickets and failing to address Dalit and Muslim issues. The letter, giving ‘resignation’ as its subject, has come days after Mr. Singh dismissed the RLD’s frontal bodies and called for a meeting in Lucknow on March 21.

Citing instances, Mr. Ahmed, who has been the State president since 2016, also charged the SP of undermining alliance partners and accused its leaders of adopting a “supremo culture”. Mr. Ahmed appealed to Mr. Singh to suspend the alliance until Mr. Yadav treated the RLD as an equal partner.

In a recent television interview, Mr. Singh had said that the SP and the RLD would fight the 2024 Lok Sabha polls together.

In the letter written in Hindi, Mr. Ahmed said, “Those who joined the party at the last minute were given tickets.” He claimed he had apprised the two leaders of the problems in ticket distribution, and that it would impact the poll outcome.

Mr. Ahmed said Jats, who constitute the core vote bank of the party, felt humiliated by the way the SP leadership had asserted itself in the ticket distribution, and it had resulted in at least two-thirds of the community voting for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

He said Mr. Yadav had humiliated senior Muslim leaders like Imran Masood. “For how long will Muslims vote for you despite being ignored?” he asked. Accusing leaders of hitting the ground at the last minute, he said SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav had succeeded because he spent all his time in public. “People don’t like their leaders to come out only at the time of elections,” he said.

He said RLD, Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) and Mahan Dal workers were ignored during the campaign. Mr. Ahmed said he had also wanted the sentiments of Azad Samaj Party chief Chandrashekhar Azad to be respected but his advice was not heeded. "That's why Patel [Kurmi] and Dalits votes got scattered," he claimed.

He wondered why when 10 SP candidates had fought on the RLD symbol, but none of the RLD candidates had been given an SP ticket. “This happened despite both of you announcing that there will be reciprocation in ticket distribution,” Mr. Ahmed said.

According to Mr. Ahmed, while Mr. Singh had repeatedly said the SP-RLD alliance was contesting 403 seats, the SP didn’t give the RLD any representation in the eastern parts of the State. “My advice is that the party [RLD] should suspend [its] alliance with the SP unless it treats us as an equal partner,” he said.

Reposing faith in Mr. Singh’s leadership, Mr. Ahmed requested him and Mr. Yadav to answer the issues raised in his letter before March 21, when a party meeting has been called in Lucknow, or else the letter should be considered his resignation.

In his response, RLD national spokesperson Sandeep Chaudhary said, “It seems Mr. Ahmed is disturbed by the dissolution of the [party’s] organisation in the State by the national president [Chaudhary Jayant Singh] and that’s why he is making such baseless allegations.” He added, “We are committed to bringing the youth at the forefront and making the organisation stronger under the leadership of Jayant- ji.”


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2022 7:55:21 am | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/uttar-pradesh-assembly/rld-up-president-quits-accuses-sp-of-undermining-alliance-partners/article65241309.ece