Akhilesh Yadav, Jayant Singh's joint UP rally today; alliance expected
An alliance between Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly polls is likely to be formally announced in a mega rally in Meerut Tuesday. The announcement will reportedly be made by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and RLD's Chaudhary Jayant Singh at the rally, dubbed 'Parivartan Sandesh.' The duo will reportedly share the seat-sharing formula post the rally.
Why does this story matter?
The SP and RLD had entered an alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and have since remained cordial. Leaders of both parties have maintained that the alliance for the 2022 UP Assembly elections is almost final. However, a formal announcement is awaited. Both parties are hoping to capitalize on the resentment among farming communities over the farm laws in Western UP.
Biggest rally in west UP: Organizers
The rally will be held in Meerut's Dabathua and has been touted as the "biggest rally in west UP." The venue has been decorated in red and green—the colors of two parties. Hoardings of Yadav with his trademark red cap and Singh with his green-colored Gamchha have also been put up. State presidents of both parties have been camping in Meerut to oversee preparations.
Singh and Yadav met last month
Speculation about a possible alliance sparked last month when Singh and Yadav met in Lucknow at the latter's residence. Following the meeting, Singh tweeted a photo with Yadav saying, "Badhte Kadam" (steps forward). Yadav also responded, writing, "Jayant Chaudhary Ke Saath Badlav ki ore" (Towards change with Shri Jayant Chaudhary). Notably, Singh's RLD has a strong support base in western UP.
What will be the seat-sharing formula?
The RLD is likely to contest 30-40 seats in western UP in alliance with SP, Hindustan Times reported quoting sources. In some seats, SP candidates may fight on RLD tickets, sources told CNN-News18. In the 2017 polls for the 403-seat UP Assembly, the BJP had won 312 seats, while SP and RLD won 47 and one seat, respectively.
SP allying with smaller parties
The SP has said that it will not ally with big parties citing its bitter experience during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Thus far, it has allied with Bhagidari Morcha, led by Om Prakash Rajbhar of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SPSP). Talks are reportedly ongoing with his politically estranged uncle Shivpal Yadav's Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia (PSP-L).
TMC, NCP back Yadav's SP
Meanwhile, Yadav has also received support from Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress. If the NCP contests a few seats, it will be in consultation with Yadav, Pawar said. Banerjee had earlier said her party is ready to help Yadav if required. TMC's Laliteshpati Tripathi said Sunday that no stone will be left unturned to ensure BJP's defeat.