Alliance with Akhilesh up in air, Chandrashekhar Aazad gets set for solo UP run, says Opp ‘not ready to jolt BJP’ | Political Pulse News – DollarJob

Alliance with Akhilesh up in air, Chandrashekhar Aazad gets set for solo UP run, says Opp ‘not ready to jolt BJP’ | Political Pulse News

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With the Jayant Chaudhary-led RLD breaking its alliance with the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Azad Samaj Party (ASP) led by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Aazad is also preparing to go solo in Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming polls.

Chandrashekhar, 37, has significant influence over Dalits in western UP. With the BSP staying away from the Opposition INDIA bloc, there were talks of an SP-RLD-ASP alliance taking shape to take on the BJP in the crucial western UP belt in the Lok Sabha polls.

“As of now, we are planning to contest 14 seats in UP on our own. We have not heard anything from SP on alliance yet and so we are preparing to go solo in the regions we are organisationally strong. People are ready to give a jolt to the BJP, but it appears the Opposition is not,” Chandrashekhar told The Indian Express.

The development assumes significance in the backdrop of a disintegrating INDIA alliance. In December 2022, the SP, RLD and ASP had contested the Khatauli and Rampur Assembly bypolls in UP together. Their alliance was able to wrest Khatauli from the BJP, with the sizeable Dalit votes in the constituency consolidating in favour of the winning RLD candidate, which was attributed to the ASP factor.

The RLD has now dumped the INDIA camp to cross over to the BJP-led NDA. The relations between the SP and its major INDIA ally Congress remains strained with their seat-sharing negotiations running into troubles.

Festive offer

The alliance talks between the SP and the ASP have not really taken off, sources said. They said the SP is reluctant to commit to the ASP’s desire to contest the Nagina Lok Sabha constituency in western UP. Chandrashekhar himself intends to contest from this constituency and has even launched his door-to-door campaign there.

Nagina, which has significant Dalit and Muslim populations, is not a bastion of any party. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the seat was won by the SP, in 2014 by the BJP and in 2019 by the BSP. In 1989, BSP supremo Mayawati had herself contested and won from the adjoining Bijnor constituency, part of which now falls in Nagina following the 2008 delimitation.

The SP had contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the BSP in UP (80 seats) in order to consolidate Yadav, Muslim and Dalit votes. However, the results did not benefit the SP much as it finished with just five seats. The BSP on the other hand bagged 10 seats which indicated that while the SP votes got transferred to the BSP, the latter’s votes shied away from the SP.

“We have influence in many regions of the state, but we were not finalising our candidates for these seats as we were speculating we would have to contest far fewer seats following the alliance. But now the polls are just a month and half away and we are now going about our poll plans,” an ASP leader said.

The 14 seats in UP where the ASP is making poll preparations include Siddharth Nagar, Lucknow, Amroha, Meerut, Saharanpur, Nagina, Muzzaffarnagar, Lalganj, Azamgrah, Ambedkar Nagar and Ayodhya. The party has conducted an assessment of its booth committees and is likely to announce a list of candidates following a meeting of its leaders and workers in the first week of March, sources said.

Apart from UP, Chandrashekhar’s party is also considering fielding candidates in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Delhi, Jharkhand and Haryana in the Lok Sabha polls. “Wherever we have our organisation and garnered significant votes in Assembly polls, we are contesting in such states. We have to work harder since we are a new party with limited resources. We do not get money through electoral bonds or from corporates. We are funded by our workers,” Chandrashekhar said.

In Haryana, the ASP is likely to contest Ambala, Sirsa and Faridabad; in Rajasthan, Alwar and Bharatpur; in Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior and Morena; in Bihar, Hajipur and Sasaram; in Jharkhand, Palamu and Jamshedpur; and in Delhi, outer Delhi and south Delhi.



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