Lucknow, February 7: The INDIA bloc is in more trouble in Uttar Pradesh with the Samajwadi Party again insisting on the ‘your symbol, our candidate’ policy with the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). The policy had worked well in the 2022 Assembly elections when the RLD had agreed to field candidates of SP choice on its party symbol.
In the 2022 elections, SP leaders Gulam Mohammad, Anil, and Chandan Chauhan had contested in the Siwalkhas, Purkaji, and Meerapur constituencies respectively on the RLD symbol and emerged victorious. The policy, according to RLD sources, is unacceptable now. Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Akhilesh Yadav Announces Samajwadi Party’s Alliance With Jayant Chaudhary-Led RLD in Uttar Pradesh Ahead of General Polls.
While the official announcement has been made regarding the number of seats for the RLD, the parties have not yet named the seats. RLD leaders claimed that the SP wanted to continue a similar experiment in Muzaffarnagar, Kairana, and Bijnor seats.
“RLD has been allocated seven seats in the seat-sharing arrangement with the Samajwadi Party, and now they want their candidates to contest on three seats using the RLD symbol,” said an RLD leader, adding that this would reduce the number of party candidates to merely four, which they perceive as unjust.
Sources within the RLD have revealed that the Samajwadi Party intends to field former MP Harendra Malik from Muzaffarnagar, Iqra Hasan from Kairana, and Ruchi Veera from Bijnor on RLD symbol. Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Congress Launches Website To Seek People’s Suggestions for Manifesto Ahead of General Polls.
This decision has sparked unrest among the RLD leaders, some of whom even opposed the candidature of Ikra and Harendra Malik during a recent district-level meeting in Shamli.
Former minister and party leader Ameer Alam, along with former minister Yograj Malik, who recently settled a two-decade-old rivalry with the Tikait family, are among the names keen to contest these seats.
The Samajwadi Party’s insistence on fielding its candidates on these seats with the RLD’s symbol has upset RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary. Sources said that the BJP has reached out to Jayant Chaudhury for an alliance in the upcoming elections and this could lead to a further crack in the INDIA bloc.
RLD state vice president, Narendra Khazoori, however, denied that there were any issues in seat-sharing. “If there are any issues, the party high command would resolve them amicably,” Khazoori said.
Meanwhile, Jayant’s programme was scheduled in Chhaprauli on February 12 to launch the party’s election campaign by unveiling the statue of his father, Ch. Ajit Singh, has been cancelled. However, the party’s national secretary, Rajkumar Sangwan, stated that the programme was cancelled because the work on the statue was still unfinished.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 07, 2024 09:43 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).