Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal has vehemently denied any talks with the Congress for the Lok Sabha elections and asserted that it will go with the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance.
In a statement issued on Thursday, RLD vice-president Jayant Chaudhary said that his party was working for opposition unity to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party’s anti-farmer and anti-youth policies.
He said the RLD had already decided to have an alliance with SP and BSP in Uttar Pradesh.
“Working on this agenda, we have already prepared a strong opposition platform comprising the SP, the BSP and the RLD,” Chaudhary said.
The RLD leader cleared the air on reports that his party was in consultation with the Congress, saying it was already a part of the SP-BSP alliance.
“Chaudhary Ajit Singh too has announced and given his message to party workers to work hard for the victory of SP-BSP-RLD alliance in the Lok Sabha polls. We are already on our work stations and working on the line of action as decided earlier,” he said.
On Wednesday, it was reported in the media that the RLD has opened channels of communication with the Congress for a possible alliance, ahead of the general elections in April-May, as it did not get firm assurance from the SP-BSP alliance on the number of Lok Sabha seats as per RLD expectations. There were reports that Congress had assured 10 Lok Sabha seats to RLD in Uttar Pradesh.
What gave credence to the reports was that the RLD had contested from one seat in Rajasthan in alliance with its old partner — the Congress.
Sources had said that the RLD was testing waters to find out if Congress was posing a strong opponent to BJP in the Lok Sabha election or the SP-BSP alliance.
“No doubt, the Congress workers are upbeat after the appointment of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as in-charge of UP East. But the RLD leaders were estimating if the Congress plan had any effect on voters. They are also estimating whether the Priyanka factor will come into play in west UP, where the RLD was eyeing for seats.
“As the ground reports were not as encouraging as senior RLD leaders expected and it was decided to distance itself from any speculations,” sources in RLD said.
Jayant Chaudhary had a meeting with Congress general secretary in-charge UP west, Jyotiraditya Scindia, after which speculations started doing the rounds. Leaders of state RLD unit said that Jayant was a good friend of Scindia and their meeting a was a routine affair.