RLD not averse to electoral ties with BJP in UP

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New Delhi, Nov 14 (UNI) Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), a party with strong base among the farmers of western Uttar Pradesh, today indicated it could have an understanding with the BJP in the state for the Lok Sabha elections, though still refusing to commit anything categorically.

RLD leader Ajit Singh, whom the proposed Samjawadi Party-Congress alliance for Uttar Pradesh was willing to have with it, did not see much chances of such an alliance materialising. He had already been jilted by BSP supremo Mayawati, with whose ''third front'' grouping he had gone at the time of the trust vote on the nuclear issue.

When asked whether he would go with the BJP and whether he would not feel uncomfortable in the NDA with INLD of Om Prakash Chauatala, who has been trying to make inroads in his farmers' votebank, Mr Singh said,''There is nothing comfortable and uncomfortable in politics.'' These views, expressed by the RLD leader in an informal interaction with reporters here before meeting the sugarcane famers of western UP, have been taken by political observers as an indication of the RLD making up its mind to ally with the BJP.

However, on the propects of the BJP in the UP Lok Sabha elections, he said anything on that could be said after the results of the current Assembly elections in six states.

Replying to a question, he admitted that he had had talks with BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, though he claimed that it was not planned to be a political meeting.

In Mr Singh's views, it would be wise for the Congress to go in for early elections as he saw a major slump in the economy by the time Lok Sabha elections were due.

He said that even if the price of fuels were brought down following the decrease in the international market, it would not have any meaning for the commonman, unless the prices of food items and of other things of daily use came down.

Mr Singh, whose party has three MPs in the Lok Sabha, had shifted its loyalty from the Congress at the time of the trust vote in July, and crossed over to the camp of the ''third front'' or UNPA in which Ms Mayawati with the support of the Left, had emerged as the central figure in the hope that the Dalit leader would be more accommodating to his demand for seats.

However, after Ms Mayawati rejected all his demands, he was reported to be hobnobbing with the BJP. In today's interaction with reporters, he was not denying the possibility of going with the BJP, while expressing doubts about a Congress-SP alliance finally taking shape.

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