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RLD Very Much a Part of SP-BSP Alliance in UP, Seat Sharing Not Decided Yet: Ajit Singh

Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati will formally announce an alliance in UP in a joint press conference on Saturday.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18.com@qazifarazahmad

Updated:January 11, 2019, 2:44 PM IST
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RLD Very Much a Part of SP-BSP Alliance in UP, Seat Sharing Not Decided Yet: Ajit Singh
File photo of RLD chief Ajit Singh. (PTI)

Lucknow: With Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) set to make the official announcement of their alliance for 2019 Lok Sabha Polls on Saturday, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh has stated that his party is also “very much a part of the alliance” but the number of seats is still to be decided.

“Jayant (Chaudhary; RLD’s vice-president) had met SP chief Akhilesh Yadav recently and we are very much in the grand alliance. However, there have been no talks yet on the number of seats. I have no clue about tomorrow’s press conference,” Singh said on Friday morning.

Asked why the Congress was left out of the grand alliance in UP, Singh said, “The decision of whether to include a big party or not was up to the SP and BSP. Whatever they have decided will be final.”

RLD enjoys prominence on seats in the western parts of UP and this was evident when the party’s Tabassum Hasan won the Kairana bypolls with the help of Samajwadi Party.

Akhilesh and BSP supremo Mayawati are all set to address a joint press conference on Saturday, the first after both the parties gave contours of an electoral alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The press conference, to be held at Lucknow’s Hotel Taj at 12pm, is the first Yadav will address since his 2017 joint address with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for the assembly elections.

This will be exactly after 25 years that both the parties will be coming together to contest the elections against the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Earlier, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Kanshi Ram had joined hands to contest the elections and registered a massive victory.

The announcement comes ahead of Mayawati’s birthday on January 15 though both the leaders are expected to share the stage on the day to give out a message of unity among their respective cadres. Yadav’s wife and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav also shares her birthday with the BSP chief.

Yadav and Mayawati had given their “in principle” approval to the alliance, which has shut its doors to the Congress in the state. Sources had told News18 that both SP and BSP are planning to contest on 37 seats each out of the 80 on offer in Uttar Pradesh and plan to leave just two – Rae Bareli and Amethi- the bastions of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi for the Congress, an offer that the grand old party is unlikely to accept.

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