Mayawati and Akhilesh Finalise Seat-Sharing Deal in UP for 2019 Polls, Leave Just 2 Seats for Congress: Sources
According to sources close to developments, the two parties have decided on an equal seat-sharing formula and would field candidates from 37 seats each.
Illustration by Mir Suhail/News18.com
New Delhi: BSP supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav met in New Delhi on Friday evening to finalise the contours of a seat sharing agreement for Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections this year.
According to sources close to developments, the two parties have decided on an equal seat-sharing formula and would field candidates from 37 seats each in the crucial poll state that sends 80 lawmakers to the Lok Sabha, leaving just six seats for the other players of the Grand Alliance, including the Congress.
The inclusion of the Congress in the Grand Alliance has been heavily speculated over the past few months and statements made by Mayawati and Akhilesh have hinted that both parties are not too keen to cede space to the Congress in the seat sharing agreement keeping in mind the party’s poor track record in the last few elections in the state.
Of the six remaining seats, the BSP and SP are only offering the Congress two seats – its bastions Rae Bareli and Amethi – from where Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi contest respectively. The Congress had won only these two seats in the 2014 general elections.
The party, however, is likely to see this as a major snub, sources said, and all signs point to it going solo in the state in the general elections.
Clearly, both Mayawati and Akhilesh are upset by what they see as high handedness of the Congress party in elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. While both BSP and SP were keen on getting in an alliance with the Congress, the latter gave them a cold shoulder.
Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) will also be a part of the anti-BJP alliance and has also been given two seats in the formula agreed by Mayawati and Akhikesh at their three-hour marathon meet held at the BSP chief’s Delhi residence. While Singh is likely to contest from his stronghold Baghpat, his son Jayant Choudhary will once again contest from Mathura, sources said.
The two remaining seats have been reserved for other partners of the mahagathbandhan in the state and could go to sulking BJP ally Om Prakash Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party. Rajbhar is presently a minister in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet but had constantly been criticising his own government and the BJP.
In case an alliance does not materialise, these two seats would also be divided between the BSP and SP, sources told News18.
According to BJP’s own calculations, an SP-BSP alliance may cost the party at least 25-30 seats in the state in the general elections. The BJP and its allies had won 73 of the 80 seats in the 2014 parliamentary elections.
The mahagathbandhan arithmetic had worked in the bypolls as a consolidation of OBC, Dalit and Muslim votes powered Samajwadi Party candidates to victory in Gorakhpur and Phulpur last year.
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