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'In the End, It Was About 2 Seats': RLD Sources on Jayant Quitting INDIA Bloc

As per sources, there was a conflict between RLD, SP, and Congress over Muzaffarnagar and Amroha Lok Sabha seats.

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"Dil Jeet Liya (You've won our hearts)," Chaudhary Jayant Singh, President of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), said in a post on social media platform X as the Centre announced Bharat Ratna for his grandfather and former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh.

The announcement came amid speculations about RLD ditching the INDIA bloc alliance and joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

At a press conference on Friday, 9 February, the RLD chief was asked about his plans to join BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), to which he responded by saying, "Koi kasar rehti hai? Aaj main kis muh se inkaar karoon aapke sawalon ka (Is there any doubt? How can I refuse today?)."

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Reliable sources within RLD and the INDIA bloc have told The Quint that the main reasons behind Jayant's dissatisfaction with the grand Opposition alliance were disagreements over seat sharing with the Samajwadi Party and Congress, and the alliance's "lack of vision and direction" as the elections draw close.

'They (SP) Wanted Muzaffarnagar'

According to a source within the RLD, as part of the INDIA bloc's strategy in Uttar Pradesh (UP), the party was being offered seven seats in western UP.

"They were giving us four seats in the Hastinapur region and three in Braj. The trick, however, was that Akhilesh (Yadav) wanted Samajwadi Party (SP) candidates to contest on RLD symbol on three seats — Bijnor, Kairana, and Muzaffarnagar. After initial reluctance, we agreed to give Kairana and Bijnor but the SP wouldn't let go of Muzaffarnagar," the source claimed.

The Samajwadi Party, however, denied these claims.

"There were no such talks. It seems Jayant had made up his mind to go to NDA a few months ago when he skipped INDIA bloc meeting," an SP functionary said on the condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav, while addressing reporters in Varanasi said that the BJP knows when to "buy" whom. "BJP knows when and what to do. It knows when and where ED and CBI are to be sent and to conduct Income-tax raids and also when to silence which journalist," Yadav said.

The Quint has also learnt that there was a conflict between the RLD and Congress over the Amroha seat. The SP is said to have given the seat to the RLD but it was also being eyed by the Congress. Kunwar Danish Ali, the present MP from Amroha, has been suspended by the BSP and has since grown close to the Congress.

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Questions Over the 'Future' of INDIA Bloc

Another source within the RLD added that while the INDIA bloc started with a lot of promise, the campaign never took the shape it should have.

"You see how parties are leaving the alliance one after the other? Nitish (Kumar) ji quit, Mamata (Banerjee) said she'll go solo in West Bengal. Eventually one has to also watch out for the future of their own party and people," the source said.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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