The Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) may field joint candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha bypolls in Kairana and Noorpur to checkmate the ruling BJP. According to a report in The Indian Express, RLD vice president Jayant Chaudhary and SP national president Akhilesh Yadav will meet today in Lucknow to discuss the course of forging an alliance for the bypolls. It said that a final decision is likely to be taken today after the first round of talks between the leaders of both parties.
The bypolls in Kairana and Noorpur were necessitated following the deaths of incumbent BJP MPs. Kairana was represented by Hukum Singh and Noorpur seat was held by Lokendra Singh. The nomination process for the bypolls begun on Thursday. The polling will be held on May 28.
The IE report said that Congress local leaders in Kairana had on Wednesday met party leaders in Delhi and expressed keen interest in backing RLD rather than going with the SP. It said that if the three regional parties – RLD, SP and Mayawati’s BSP decides to contest the polls together, the Congress will be left with no option but to become a part of the bugger alliance or go solo.
Congress state vice-president Imran Masood said that the local leaders have conveyed their message to the party high-commands. He said that a decision regarding the same will be taken soon. Imran said that the local leadership of Congress including him want to contest alone. He said that they are also open to the idea of supporting Jayant Chaudhary if he plans to contest.
“Congress has been strong in at least in three out of five assembly segments of Kairana including Shamli, Gangoh, and Nakur,” he said.
RLD state president Masood Ahmed said that people in Kairana want Chaudhary to contest. He added that if the Samajwadi Party supports his candidature, the RJD will certainly defeat the BJP. He said the party leadership will take a final decision on a joint candidate.
Citing RLD sources, it said that party leadership has already hinted that it was ready to make sacrifices to ensure unity among the opposition parties, but it needs at least one or two days to make a final decision. RLD spokesman Anil Dubey said that preparations for the bypolls are in place, adding that “we also want to ensure that strength and unity of opposition against BJP remain there”.
The party is interested more in contesting from Noorpur seat which falls in Bijnor district and that Jayant Chaudhary is unlikely to enter the fray, the IE report said.
The Samajwadi Party, on the other hand, has said that its candidates in both the seats had stood close second in previous elections. During the 2014 general election, BJP’s Hukum Singh had bagged 5.65 lakh votes whereas SP’s Nahid Hassan had managed to get 3.30 lakh votes. In 2017, BJP’s Lokendra Singh had won from Noorpur by defeating SP’s Naim-ul-Hassan. The difference of votes between the winner and the runner-up was just 13,000.
The Samajwadi Party is once again eying the BSP’s vote bank. It is hopeful of getting the support Jatav and the BSP’s local cadres.
Meanwhile, ruling BJP’s state general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said that he sees no threat to the party if the opposition decides to contest the polls together. “Let the opposition do whatever they are doing,” he said.
Earlier this year, the SP and BSP had together contested Lok Sabha bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur. The candidates of the alliance between the two regional arch-rivals had won the polls.