SP and JD (U) looking for more electoral space beyond their pocket-borough
New Delhi, Oct 2: While bargaining for seats with national political parties, regional political parties are eying their expansion in other states. At least this has been the case with the Janata Dal (United)-led by chief minister of Bihar and Samajwadi Party-led by former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. They are looking for seats beyond Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where they have their base.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) seat sharing in Bihar has not yet been clinched among Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal (U), Lok Janshakti Party and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, despite the fact that the BJP has reportedly agreed to give JD (U) one seat in Uttar Pradesh and one in Jharkhand. The JD (U) is looking to field its general secretary K C Tyagi from one of the seats in western Uttar Pradesh. A seat is being pinned down for him and the JD (U) wants to field one candidate from Jharkhand.
JD (U) had contested Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh in the past as well but focusing on eastern Uttar Pradesh which has cultural and linguistic links with Bihar. Now it wants its share in the electoral alliance.
Similarly, the Samajwadi Party (SP) that had an alliance with the Congress in 2017 Assembly elections is now looking to expand its base beyond Uttar Pradesh albeit with an alliance with the Congress. Now, the SP wants to have an alliance with the party not only in Uttar Pradesh but Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The SP has put forth some conditions before the Congress in this regard in Uttar Pradesh ahead 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Sources said that senior leaders of the Congress and the SP are discussing the matter to short out differences if any.
Sources in the Samajwadi Party said that the party wants seats in poll-bound states from the Congress in exchange for a pact in UP. Reportedly the SP wants to spread its wings in three other Hindi-speaking states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Assembly polls in these three states are due next month.
Meanwhile uncertainty prevails over the Bahujan Samaj Party's move if its wants to go for an alliance. The BSP, too, is looking for a pan-India alliance with the Congress as the two sides were discussing alliances in the poll-bound states. But Mayawati eventually decided to go with Janata Congress Chhattisgarh of Ajit Jogi over the Congress in Chhattisgarh. Both the parties actually failed to reach a meeting point on seats. The BSP has already announced candidates for 22 seats in Madhya Pradesh. Congress leaders, however, have not given up hopes of a wider alliance with the BSP. The SP and the Congress leaders are hoping to hammer out a deal in the coming weeks.