Amid frantic speculations over the joint press conference by Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh has spilled the beans about the strategic alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Talking to media, Singh confirmed the news and said that, “Yes, we are a part of the Grand Alliance.” However, Singh didn’t say anything on the seat-sharing formula. “We haven't discussed seats yet,” Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. But he kept mum on the imminent split with the Congress and said that, “Mayawati Ji and Akhilesh Ji will decide whether there will be an alliance with Congress or not.”
For those uninitiated, Singh drew blank in the 2014 General Elections. Even at present, Singh’s RLD has no lawmaker in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly. Once known as the prominent leader in western Uttar Pradesh, Singh couldn’t save his bastion and lost in Baghpat in 2014. Earlier in April last year, lone RLD MLA from Chhaprauli assembly constituency in Baghpath district, Sahender Singh Ramala, joined the BJP at its office in Lucknow in presence of state BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey and the party's general secretary Vidyasagar Sonkar. In July last year, when asked about the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the RLD chief had confirmed that he “will contest the 2019 elections.”
At that time, Singh had termed a `mahagathbandhan' (a mega alliance of opposition parties) as the need of the hour, saying that if any party contests the next election on its own, it will be wiped out.
Even at that time, Singh had dismissed the possibility of the RLD forging an alliance with the BJP.
Earlier, News Nation had reported that the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party are coming together for a pre-poll alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh. According to the sources, the Samajwadi Party will contest 37 seats while the Bahujan Samaj Party will fight on 38 of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies. Three seats - Baghpat, Mathura, Kairana - will go to Ajit Singh's RLD. Singh is likely to contest from his stronghold Baghpat while his son Jayant Choudhary will once again contest from Mathura. BJP's Hema Malini had defeated Jayant from Mathura constituency in 2014. The alliance, however, will not field its candidates on Amethi and Raebareli - the traditional seats of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.