RLD opens door to ally with Congress, latter ready to give 10 LS seats
Uttar Pradesh

RLD opens door to ally with Congress, latter ready to give 10 LS seats

Agency News

Lucknow, Feb 20: Choudhury Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), so far unable to get firm assurance for the desired number of Lok Sabha seats from the BSP-SP alliance, has opened channels of communication with the Congress for the possible alliance, ahead of the Assembly elections in April-May.

Congress reportedly has assured 10 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and one in Rajasthan to RLD, which is an old alliance partner of the Congress in Rajasthan.

The leaders of both the Congress and RLD have feigned ignorance about the talks underway between the two parties for the alliance. However, they have not denied the possibility of coming together, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Congress sources said here on Wednesday that a major coalition may take place, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. RLD is unhappy with the SP-BSP alliance and hence, Congress is gearing up to get it with them.

A Congress leader said ''It can be called as Operation Priyanka as Priyanka Gandhi had asked Jyotiraditya Scindia to meet Jayant Chowdhury. Scindia has met the leader twice''.

Confirming his meetings with Mr Scindia, vice president of RLD Jayant Chowdhary said ''Talks are underway with the SP-BSP alliance and the common goal of the three parties is to prevent BJP from coming to power. It’s too early to make any comment about the possibility of aligning with the Congress at this moment.

''I and Jyotiraditya Scindia were together in Parliament and I have deep regards for the Congress General Secretary,'' he added.

Congress sources said Mr Scindia met Mr Chowdhury on the instructions of Ms Vadra and both the leaders have talked twice in this week. The Congress has offered 10 Lok Sabha seats in UP and one in Rajasthan to RLD.

The former union minister and RLD president is asking for four Lok Sabha seats from the SP-BSP alliance, but they are willing to part with only three seats.

Congress Spokesperson Akhilesh Singh said ''I have no information about the meeting of Scindia with Jayant Chowdhry, but politics is the game of the possibilities''.

Congress has already made inroads in West UP by poaching over BJP MLA Avatar Singh Bhadhana, who

recently resigned from the primary membership of BJP and joined the Congress in Lucknow, in presence of Ms Vadra.

The Gujjar MLA from Muzaffarnagar also resigned from the membership of the UP Assembly.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi in January had appointed Ms Vadra and Mr Scindia as General Secretaries East and West UP, respectively.

The largest state of the country has total 80 Lok Sabha seats. Ms Vadra will look after 41 Lok Sabha seats in East UP, while Mr Scindia will be in charge of 39 seats in West UP. (UNI)