The INDIA bloc faces mounting challenges in Uttar Pradesh as the Samajwadi Party once again pushes for its 'your symbol, our candidate' policy with the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), stirring up tensions within the coalition.
The policy, successfully implemented during the 2022 Assembly elections, saw RLD agreeing to field SP's chosen candidates under its party symbol. However, RLD sources now deem this policy unacceptable.
In the previous elections, SP leaders contested and triumphed in Siwalkhas, Purkaji, and Meerapur constituencies on the RLD symbol. Yet, the current proposition by SP to field its candidates in Muzaffarnagar, Kairana, and Bijnor under RLD's symbol has sparked discontent within RLD ranks.
With the official seat allocation announced, but specific seats yet to be named, RLD leaders protest against the imbalance this arrangement brings. SP's proposal would diminish RLD's candidate count to four, down from the promised seven, a move perceived as unjust by RLD leaders.
Internal dissent surfaces as some RLD leaders oppose the candidature of proposed candidates Ikra Hasan and Harendra Malik during district-level meetings. Former ministers like Ameer Alam and Yograj Malik express interest in contesting these seats, heightening tensions within the coalition.
SP's insistence on this arrangement has irked RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary, while reports of BJP reaching out for an alliance with him add fuel to the fire, potentially widening the rift within the INDIA bloc.
While RLD's state vice president denies any issues in seat-sharing, uncertainties loom over the coalition's unity. The cancellation of Jayant Chaudhury's scheduled programme to launch the election campaign, attributed to unfinished statue work, hints at underlying tensions within the party.
(With Agency Inputs)