Ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Chaudhary Jayant Singh held a crucial closed door meeting in Lucknow late on Thursday. For over two hours the leaders discussed and finalised seat sharing, as well as the list of candidates.
According to highly placed sources, the SP might give 30 to 32 seats to the RLD, of which five to seven may have an SP candidate contesting on the RLD symbol. At the same time, the leaders also talked about strengthening the Jat and Muslim combination in the western part of the state.
The SP-RLD alliance is expected to garner support and votes from the Jat land. It will be interesting to see which side voters from the farming belt pick, especially after the withdrawal of the three new farm laws by the Centre.
The two parties had already announced their alliance for the upcoming polls, but were yet to finalise distribution of seats. Sharing the same photograph on Twitter, Akhilesh and Jayant announced details about their meeting on the microblogging site.
The RLD entered the electoral fray in the 2002 elections, in alliance with the BJP. In this election, the RLD won 14 seats (2 per cent votes). In 2007, the RLD entered the electoral fray alone. In this election, the party won 10 seats, while their vote percentage increased to 4 per cent. In the 2012 elections, the RLD entered the electoral fray in alliance with the Congress and won nine seats (2 per cent votes). In 2017, the RLD contested alone once again and won only a single seat.