Grand Alliance: Discussions on to ‘settle’ seat-sharing in UP, Bihar

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 25, 2019

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav during an interaction with the media at the SP office in Lucknow on Monday   -  Rajeev Bhatt

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav meets Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav

The Congress’ decision to go it alone in Uttar Pradesh after the ‘unilateral’ announcement from the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on the seat-sharing formula, has cast a shadow over efforts to forge a Grand Alliance against the BJP in the politically important State. The Opposition leaders, however, are not ruling out the possibility of giving the Congress a share in the alliance. They claim that it is a process, which will continue till the announcement of the general elections. The parties ruled out any alliance at the national level, but were working towards State-wise tie-ups, including in Uttar Pradesh.

In a clear indication that the Uttar Pradesh model will be acceptable for the neighbouring Bihar too, the Opposition leader in the State Assembly, Tejashwi Yadav, met BSP supremo Mayawati and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow. In Bihar, the Congress is a member in the grand alliance against the BJP-JD(U)-led NDA. Yadav said the SP and the BSP are enough to beat Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and by-elections indicated the same. “Defeating the BJP is important than who is a part of alliance,” Yadav said.

“We are not against making Congress an alliance partner. It will be State-specific,” a senior BSP leader said, hinting that the terms of the partnership will be decided by the SP and the BSP.

UP-Bihar model

Yadav on Monday said the model set by Uttar Pradesh and Bihar will decide who will be in power at the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls. “The message of an alliance has not only reached UP but the entire country. The people of UP and Bihar will decide as to who will come to power at the Centre,” Tejashwi said.

“While UP has 80 Lok Sabha seats, Bihar has 40 and Jharkhand 14. A major chunk of 134 seats are in these States, out of which, the BJP has around 115 seats in alliance, the BJP will lose 100 seats,” Tejashwi added.

After the meeting, Akhilesh Yadav said Tejashwi’s move will further cement the alliance. “The people of the country are unhappy with the BJP. UP alliance has been received well,” Yadav added.

Published on January 14, 2019

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