JD(U) to back RLD candidates in UP by-polls: Sharad Yadav

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Lucknow, Jan 31: The JD(U) on Sunday announced it will back RLD candidates in the by-polls to three assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, a move that comes amid talk of the two parties exploring the possibility of forging an alliance for the state polls next year.

Making the announcement, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said doors were open for the formation of a grand alliance in the state for which "talks were on".

Sharad Yadav

"Our party will support RLD candidates on all three seats in the by-elections going to be held on February 13," Yadav told reporters after a meeting of the party's state executive committee.

RLD chief Ajit Singh had a meeting with the JD(U) president a couple of days back during which the two leaders were reported to have discussed the broad contours of a larger coalition against the BJP at a time when both SP and BSP, the two major parties in the state, have ruled out forging any alliance.

By-elections are scheduled for Bikapur, Muzaffarnagar and Deoband assembly seats. On the possibility of a "Mahagathbandhan" (grand alliance) on the lines of Bihar ahead of 2017 assembly polls in UP, Yadav said, "Talks are on but nothing concrete has come up till now."

In Bihar, JD(U) had formed a grand alliance with Congress and RJD, and dealt a major blow to BJP in the assembly elections. On Samajwadi Party's role in the future alliance, Yadav said, "We had made them leader of the Mahagathbandhan but they left it."

The SP chief had walked out of the JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance in Bihar and formed a third front to contest the polls. When asked whether SP had some tacit understanding with BJP, Yadav said he would not like to comment.

Criticising the Narendra Modi government, Yadav said it had promised "acche din", which continued to be elusive.

"Their promise of acche din is a distant dream. Youth are not getting employement, price rise is at its peak...common man is facing hardships under the present dispensation," he said.

On Hyderabad Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide, Yadav said it was a matter of "concern" that after so many years of Independence a young man had to commit suicide.

"Bhimrao Ambedkar had converted to reform society, but nothing has changed and a youth Rohith had to commit suicide", he said.

PTI

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