The much anticipated pre-poll alliance between Congress, Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal (SP) has run into a rough weather as SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav are divided over inclusion of RLD as a coalition partner.
According to sources, Mulayam Singh is of the view that if Ajit Singh-led RLD becomes a part of the alliance, they may lose Muslim voters in Western Uttar Pradesh. “It’s a known fact that Jats and Muslims have their discourse in western Uttar Pradesh. The SP chief is worried that bringing both the groups in the grand alliance fold –comprising SP, Congress and RJD–may be little risky,” the party source said, adding that deliberations are still on to resolve the issue at the earliest as Jat vote is equally important to secure victory at most of the seats in the region.
However, political experts opined that becoming a part of the proposed grand alliance is like a win-win situation for the RLD as the party is said to command influence among the dominant Jat community in western UP, but is politically on the wane at the moment.
The other factor that has delayed the much awaited announcement is objections raised by Congress over some 50-odd seats, where Congress candidates wer4 at second position in the 2012 assembly poll. According to party insiders, the Congress has expressed its view that if those seats would be not be given to Congress, the candidates, who had lost to SP candidates, may turn rival and go for polls either independent or may join other parties.
“The SP is also in Catch-22 position as most of the seats in question have been won by SP and if Mulayam Singh’s party offers those assembly constituencies to Congress, the rebellion would happen in SP. Top brass of both the parties are brainstorming over such critical issues, which would be resolved very soon as alliance in needed for both,” the source said. However, Congress has termed rumours surrounding the alliance as “completely baseless". Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that no discussion has taken place between them.