Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) released the list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday. Ajit Singh will contest the elections from Muzaffarnagar, Jayant Chaudhary from Baghpat and Narendra Singh from Mathura. RLD is in alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh.
The RLD formally joined the SP-BSP ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) on March 5 to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha elections. The announcement was made at a joint press conference of SP president Akhilesh Yadav and RLD vice-president Jayant Chaudhary in Lucknow.
The RLD settled for three Lok Sabha seats -- Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar and Mathura -- in the SP-BSP alliance. According to sources, the RLD had sought four seats.
The BSP, led by Mayawati, is contesting on 38 seats and the SP on 37 seats, while five seats are left for other parties, including two- Amethi and Raebareli held by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi -- for the Congress. While announcing the alliance last month, both parties had said they will contest 38 seats each. This put a question mark on the electoral future of the state’s next biggest regional contestant, the RLD.
Uttar Pradesh accounts for 80 Lok Sabha seats.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has already said his party will fight the elections in the state alone with its “full capacity”.
Addressing a press conference in Dubai, Gandhi has earlier said the leaders of the two parties “have a right to do what they want to do”.
“BSP and SP have made a political decision. It’s on us on how to strengthen the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh and we will fight with our full capacity,” he said, reported PTI news agency
“Congress party has tremendous to offer to the people of Uttar Pradesh... I have tremendous respect for the leaders of BSP and SP, they have a right to do what they want to do,” he added.