RLD making last-ditch efforts to make Maya change her mind

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New Delhi, Aug 11 (UNI) The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) led by former prime minister Charan Singh's son Ajit Singh is making last-ditch efforts to make BSP supremo Mayawati agree to concede some seats to it in Uttar Pradesh in the coming Lok Sabha elections before formally turning to its former ally -- Samajwadi Party and Congress.

Mr Ajit Singh got a great shock when his new-found ally Ms Mayawati declared at her Lucknow rally on Saturday that her party would contest all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

''Let things be finally clear with Ms Mayawati, then we would think of that,'' a RLD source told UNI when asked if Mr Singh was approaching his former allies.

Mr Singh had been supporting the UPA Government at the Centre before the crisis over the nuclear deal. He was also an ally of the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh but had withdrawn the support of his party just on the eve of the last Assembly elections.

The RLD leader, who has a base among the farmers of western Uttar Pradesh was hoping for at least eight seats, as he had ditched the Congress on the eve of trust vote in Lok Sabha mainly on the ground that the UPA was not agreeing to more than five seats for his party.

Along with UNPA and Left leaders, he had put up a joint front with Ms Mayawati to oppose the July 22 trust motion but the Government's victory disturbed his immediate calculations and of all others who had united under the banner of the 'Third Front' -- minus its founder member Samajwadi Party -- which had seemed to be having bright propects just on the eve of the trust vote.

Ms Mayawati's name was floated by CPI leader A B Bardhan for premiership and it was endorsed by other UNPA and Left leaders, though the TDP and the CPI(M) were reported to be having some reservations.

The BSP supremo's Saturday declaration for contesting all the L S seats also left no room for the communists too in the northern state, though RLD is the worst sufferer.

In fact the BSP sources, even during the run-up to the trust vote, when every non-UPA and non-NDA party, except the SP which was on the ruling alliance's side, felt overjoyed over the prospects of the an emerging pan-India 'Third Front', had been indicating strongly that Ms Mayawati was not very keen on a pre-poll alliance.

''Why should she when she can muster numbers enough to give her bargining power after elections. She would concentrate on consolidating her dalit constituency on an all-India basis,'' a BSP source told UNI.

Ms Mayawati had been catapulted to the leadership of the not so coherent UNPA when the SP, one of the two key political players along with the BSP in Uttar Pradesh, ditched the organisation it had founded to shake hands with the ruling Congress at the Centre, a move that was to give it some leverage against the BSP. BSP is the ruling party in the state which was alleged to have embarked on a vindictive agenda against the SP after coming to power in the Hindi heartland in the 2007 Assembly elections.

UNI NAZ ARB CS1442

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