Congress, BSP, SP, RLD Say “Yes” to the Seat-Sharing Agreement?by OPINIONEXPRESS.IN July 22, 2018 0 comments
A number of sources have revealed that Congress, SP, BSP, and RLD have almost arrived at the decision of the seat-sharing agreement. The agreement is a conventional formula that makes sure some seats are reserved for the winning candidate and for the second positioned candidates as well. Based on the formula, Congress may get 8 seats.
For some time now, there has been no talk of the Congress going it alone in Uttar Pradesh. People say the party is expected to find a place in the alliance of the SP and BSP. Earlier, it was being said that the Congress would go solo and field as many forward candidates as it can to counter the BJP, but now this debate has been put to rest. Leaders who are trying to forge a Mahagathbandhan in UP are of the view that all anti-BJP forces have to fight together and there should be only one candidate from the Opposition to create a daunting challenge for the BJP.
Sources say the SP, BSP, Congress, and RLD have almost arrived at the seat-sharing agreement. This is a conventional formula, which ensures seats for the winning candidate and for those who are on the second position. According to this formula, the Congress might get eight seats. In the last elections, the party had won Raebareli and Amethi seats and had come second on six other seats. In 2009, the Congress had won 22 seats. Though many Congress leaders feel that the proposal of eight seats is not what they had hoped for, at the end of the day, the party will have to accept it.
According to the same formula, the RLD might get three seats, all of which will be in western UP. According to sources, Ajit Singh’s son Jayant Chaudhary will get the Mathura seat, from where Hema Malini is currently the MP. In the byelections, the RLD had bagged Kairana, so the seat will go to the party. Apart from that, Ajit Singh’s conventional seat — Baghpat — will also be in his kitty. As per the formula, the SP will get 36 seats, and the BSP will get 34 — this, because the SP had won five seats in the last elections and had come second on 31 seats, whereas the BSP had come second on 34 seats. The buzz is that Akhilesh Yadav might give a couple of seats from his quota to the BSP.
AJIT SINGH’S NEXT MOVE
There’s growing suspense over the next move of the RLD’s Ajit Singh. There is news that along with the SP, BSP, and Congress, he is talking to the BJP as well. If the Mahagathbandhan offers him two or three seats, he might consider the BJP’s offer, which, sources say, is of five seats. This must be noted that the RLD has performed the best only with the BJP.
In 2009, the RLD had fought along with the BJP and won five seats. In 2014, the RLD fought in alliance with the Congress and had lost all seats. The truth is that the caste equation in western UP is different and the RLD’s chances will be better if it goes with the BJP. The Jats and other Hindu votes are expected to polarise in favour of the RLD and BJP. On the other hand, if the RLD goes with the secular alliance, it will affect the Jat votes. Though this time, the Jat and Jatav are expected to vote together. And that is why Ajit Singh is in a dilemma.
MAYAWATI weighs options
After a long gap, there are chances that Mayawati might fight the Lok Sabha Elections this time. She had fought from the Akbarpur seat in 2004. This must be noted that as of now, she is not a member of any House of Parliament. In 2012, when her party lost the elections and she had to resign from the CM post, she had joined the Rajya Sabha, only to resign in September 2017. So, she is no more a member of any House of Parliament or any legislative house. Now, her party is projecting her as the PM candidate for the next Lok Sabha Elections. The BSP has set a target to win at least 50 seats in different States along with UP by forging alliances with different parties. This is to be seen on how many seats the BSP will fight and how many seats it will win. But this is a fact that if there’s hung Parliament after elections and a leader of a small party becomes the contender for the PM post, then the first requirement will be for him/her to be a member of any of the Houses of Parliament. That is why there is speculation that Mayawati could fight the LS polls this time.
Mayawati had earlier fought from Bijnor, Haraura, Akbarpur, and Haridwar (earlier a part of UP). This time also, she might choose a seat from western UP, where her party has a strong base. When she had fought from Akbarpur, she won 44 per cent votes. After delimitation, the name of the seat has been changed to Ambedkar Nagar. This is a general seat and is said to be Mayawati’s first choice. Her other preference is Nagina, where the BSP had come third in the last elections.
WILL PRIYANKA contest?
Yet again, there is speculation that Priyanka Vadra will fight the Lok Sabha Elections from Raebareli. Since Sonia Gandhi has not been keeping well for the past few years, people say Priyanka might be roped in from her mother’s seat. Then there are some who say Rahul Gandhi might change his seat and will fight from Raebareli. In this scenario, the question that arises is: Will Priyanka then fight from her brother’s seat? According to another buzz, Priyanka could be the joint candidate of the BSP, SP, and Congress from Varanasi. The last time around, Arvind Kejriwal had fought from this seat. No big leader has wanted to fight from this seat. Neither the SP nor BSP wants to go up against PM Narendra Modi. All parties are trying to throw their ball in another’s court. If Priyanka is fielded from Varanasi, the elections will be very interesting. But this might also jeopardise Rahul’s political career.
CONGRESS TAKES INITIATIVE
The Congress is trying to tie up with other parties in the three States where elections are scheduled at the end of this year. When the leaders of these States met Rahul, they discussed several issues and a consensus was reached over the alliance policy. Though, the President of Rajasthan Congress doesn’t want any alliance, claiming they will win on their own, in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, party leaders want alliances. In Chhattisgarh, Mayawati and Ajit Jogi have already talked about a tie-up. However, the door is still open for the Congress. If the Congress wants an alliance, it will have to leave almost half the seats. The Congress wants to go into an alliance with the BSP in MP, but this would be possible only when there’s a package deal for both States.
Writer: Hari Shankar Vyas
Courtesy: The Pioneer