Trouble is brewing in Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) after it came to light that eight Samajwadi Party candidates would be contesting the assembly elections on RLD symbol.
This is out of the 32 seats given to the RLD by the Samajwadi Party (SP).
According to party sources, some seats in Meerut and Muzaffarnagar, considered to be a stronghold of RLD, have gone to the SP.
For instance, SP leader and former MLA Ghulam Mohammad was given the ticket from Siwalkhas constituency of Meerut while Manisha Ahlawat got the ticket for Meerut Cantonment. Both have been given the RLD symbol.
“We are a junior partner in the alliance but are strong in west UP and hold sway in the region. It appears our chief Jayant Chaudhary has succumbed to the SP pressure,” said a party leader.
Several party workers, led by state president of Rashtriya Jat Mahasangh Rohit Jakhad, staged a protest at the statue of late Chaudhary Charan Singh in Meerut.
“The seat distribution has given a walkover to the BJP. We have nothing to lose. It is Akhilesh Yadav who dreams of becoming the chief minister. If he cannot honour the rules of alliance, we know how to defeat such a mindset,” Jakhad said.
The protest is not confined to Meerut and has spread to other regions.
“Resentment is widespread. The SP has fielded its candidates on the RLD symbol where Jats are in majority and were considered safe seats. For instance, Sanjay Latar in Mathura (though Jat but an SP leader on RLD symbol), Rajpal Saini in Khatauli are some such candidates,” said an RLD leader.
Abhishek Chaudhary, west UP spokesperson for RLD, said, “Muzaffarnagar has six assembly seats and five have gone to the RLD, but in reality, four out of these five candidates are from SP fighting on the RLD symbol. We have been cheated.”
According to party leaders, in 2017 the alliance between RLD and SP had broken due to the same reason.
“Akhilesh Yadav is trying to hijack the benefit of all the hard work done by RLD in creating a strong narrative against the BJP,” a senior RLD leader said.