Why no political party wants the RLD in western UP
The Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 saw atrocities against Muslims by local Jats who were now under the BJP�s command instead of their usual benefactor, the RLD.
The Rashtriya Lok Dal, the party of Ajit Singh, is turning out to be the odd man out in the season of alliances and pacts.
The Samajwadi Party and the Congress seem not to be interested in the RLD which holds reasonable sway over the 77 seats in Western Uttar Pradesh. The Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 saw atrocities against Muslims by local Jats who were now under the BJP’s command instead of their usual benefactor, the RLD. The party has since then beefed up its presence in its former borough though Muslims are still wary of the RLD since it didn’t come out against the targeted violence in 2013.
Jats comprise 17 percent of the population in the 26 districts that comprise western UP. The region will vote in two phases on February 11 and 15 for 73 and 67 seats, respectively.
The BJP, which is playing hardball to win this election, has already declared candidates for most seats here. The party is keen to repeat its 2014 Lok Sabha magic in Uttar Pradesh where it won 71 of the 80 seats by winning 42.3 per cent vote share. If one transposes the vote share to the 403 Assembly seats, it can take heart considering that it can win 328 seats. But projections are one thing and eventual victory another.
Muslims comprise 19 percent of the population in Uttar Pradesh. They decide who goes to the assembly in 30 seats.
This is possible the reason why the Congress and the SP are not too eager to join hands with the RLD, which had shot down the offer of 25 seats by the SP. But the RLD recently announced its decision to contest all 403 seats by itself.
In a triangular contest of BJP versus SP-Congress versus BSP, Muslims are expected to vote tactically. It is likely they would choose either the candidate of the BSP or SP-Congress in each constituency. Polarisation attempts are underway and it will help the BJP as always.
The RLD, which has been spurned by both the SP and the Congress, is now talking of building a rainbow alliance of smaller parties. The consistent fall in vote share of the RLD doesn’t augur well for the party this time too.