Alliance Most Likely to Run Up Against Seat-sharing Speed Breaker in UP

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LUCKNOW — Seat sharing is all set to emerge as a major roadblock in the opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh.

The Samajwadi Party, which is the main opposition party in Uttar Pradesh, is supremely confident of its performance in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in 2024 and it will not like to part with seats to allies, except for a token sharing.

However, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which has been an SP ally, has already demanded 12 seats.

RLD state unit chief Ramashish Rai said, “The party did not gain much by giving up seats for the sake of its alliance with the Samajwadi Party. Western UP is RLD’s stronghold and the 12 seats that we want to contest are Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Nagina, Amroha, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Hathras, Fatehpur Sikri, Mathura and Baghpat.”

Samajwadi Party sources, however, said the party leadership will give only five seats to the RLD, which may not be acceptable to the latter.

The RLD is in an upbeat mood following its good show in the 2022 Assembly polls when it won eight seats and then bagged another in a bypoll, taking its tally to nine.

The alliance between the RLD and the SP is further strained following reports that RLD was keen on a tie-up with the Congress for 2024 polls — an alliance that Akhilesh is not too keen on, but is ‘tolerating’ the Congress only under pressure from other opposition parties.

The inclusion of Congress in the alliance in Uttar Pradesh will undoubtedly lead to more pressure on SP for seat sharing.

While Congress leaders claim that they would want a minimum of 15 seats, including Rae Bareli and Amethi, but SP is in no mood to part with this number of seats.

The Congress leadership in Delhi and Lucknow are yet to open channels of communication with the I.N.D.I.A members in the state.

In this situation, member parties of the opposition alliance have, so far, avoided even discussing seat sharing though they may not be able to put it off for much longer since the general elections are only a few months away.

“Seat sharing is going to be a major roadblock among non-BJP parties in Uttar Pradesh. The Samajawdai Party will have to show greater generosity in the Lok Sabha polls and if Akhilesh does not do so, the alliance may not bear fruit in UP which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha,” said R.K. Singh, a senior political analyst.

Apart from RLD and Congress, smaller parties like Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) will also seek their pound of flesh in the alliance. — IANS

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