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U.P. polls: RLD identifies 32 seats to contest in partnership with SP

The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has identified 32 seats, mostly in western Uttar Pradesh, to contest as a partner of the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the Assembly elections beginning early next year, its State unit chief said on Sunday.

RLD workers want party chief Jayant Chaudhary to contest the elections, the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit chief Masood Ahmad said in an interview, adding that if the kin of farmers who died during the farm laws protest are willing to contest on an RLD ticket, the party will take a decision based on their winnability.

Mr. Ahmad, however, categorically stated that if the SP-led alliance is voted to power in Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav will be its Chief Minister and the RLD a partner in the government.

“As of now, 32 seats of western Uttar Pradesh have been identified from where the RLD will be fighting. These seats are spread across Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Shamli, Bulandshahr, Hathras, Mathura, Agra, Aligarh, Moradabad and Amroha. The total number of seats on which the party will contest in the upcoming Assembly elections is likely to go up further,” he said.

Asked if Jayant Chaudhary will be Deputy Chief Minister if the SP-led alliance wins, Mr. Ahmad said, “I don’t know whether Jayantji will contest or not. Almost three months ago, when I asked him if he would contest the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, he had said no. But in politics, things change fast.” The entire party wants him to contest, and there are many seats Mr. Chaudhary can choose from, he said, adding, “I am willing to offer him the Tanda Assembly seat (in Ambedkarnagar district).”

No agreement yet

The RLD and the SP are yet to announce a seat-sharing arrangement for next year’s election to the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. The RLD has one MLA in the outgoing Assembly — Sahendra Singh Ramala from the Chhaprauli in Baghpat.

Attacking the BJP over its announcement to repeal the new farm laws, Mr. Ahmad said the party had thought that its heels were dug deep and nobody could force it to change its stance.

‘BJP has misconception’

“They (BJP) had a misconception (’galatfahmi') and false pride (’guroor') about themselves. The party had thought it would crush the farmers’ protest, and that the movement would not sustain for long. The farmers, however, were determined,” the RLD leader said.

“It was Chaudhary Ajit Singh (former RLD chief) who had extended support to Rakesh Tikait. Without that it would have been difficult for the farmers' protest to last long after the Red Fort violence incident on Republic Day. Ajit Singh had told Rakesh Tikait not to worry,” he added.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 9:03:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/up-polls-rld-identifies-32-seats-to-contest-in-partnership-with-sp/article37743856.ece

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