Thursday, February 24, 2011

In U.P, Ajit Singh announces formation of new front

LUCKNOW, February 24, 2011

Seat-sharing formula, name of alliance to be finalised next week

A fresh re-alignment of political forces in Uttar Pradesh much ahead of the 2012 Assembly elections took shape on Wednesday with the formation of a new front. It comprises the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), the Peace Party and smaller parties such as the Indian Justice Party, the Bharatiya Samaj Party, the Janwadi Party, the Ittehad-e-Millat Council and the Bharatiya Lokhit Party.

The front will contest all 403 Assembly seats. The political programme, seat-sharing formula and the name of the alliance will be finalised next week. The doors for future talks with other parties, barring the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, have been kept open.

According to RLD president Ajit Singh, who announced the formation of the front here on Wednesday, it will strive to provide an alternative to the people of the State who were reeling under the impact of Chief Minister Mayawati\'s "misrule, corruption and criminalisation of politics." "The people are yearning for a change and wanted an alternative to the Mayawati government," Mr. Singh told reporters.

Focus on governance

He said the front was ready to provide an alternative, the focus of which will be on governance and care of the needy, farmers and the under-privileged sections of society.

On the possibility of a political understanding with the Congress or the Samajwadi Party, Mr. Singh said that notwithstanding their "wish" being limited to "mere statements," he did not shut the door on talks with them. The RLD president added that the new political front would have no truck with either the BJP or Ms. Mayawati\'s BSP. "The possibility of them [the BJP and Ms. Mayawati] forming the government together again cannot be ruled out," he said.

No alliance talks have been initiated with the expelled Samajwadi Party leader and Lok Manch convenor, Amar Singh, it was clarified by Peace Party leader Mohammad Ayub, who was present at the press conference along with the IJP chief Udit Raj and Bharatiya Samaj Party president Om Prakash Rajbhar.

A doctor by profession, Mr. Ayub said Mr. Amar Singh had no party. "Let him first form a party." The Lok Manch convenor\'s recent padyatra for the cause of Purvanchal (eastern U.P.) was underplayed by the medical practitioner from Barhalganj in Gorakhpur. But he added that the front favoured formation of three small States — Purvanchal, Harit Pradesh and Bundelkhand.

Among the constituents of the new political front, only the RLD is the party with an established presence in the State. It has 10 members in the Vidhan Sabha and one member in the upper House of the State legislature. In the Lok Sabha, the RLD has five members and one in the Rajya Sabha.

Besides, the party has members in the zila panchayats and gram panchayats in all districts of western Uttar Pradesh. The RLD was a coalition partner of the SP in the government headed by Mulayam Singh in 2003.

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