Case of survival for RLD

Case of survival for RLD

 While its rivals are in the fray to capture power in Uttar Pradesh, for the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) the Assembly polls, especially the first phase of polling in the Jat belt on Saturday, is a question of survival.

On the brink of political extinction after having failed to win a single seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the RLD now looks to revive itself through its traditional Jat vote bank.
The party, which had won 12 of the 73 seats, where polling would be held on Saturday, in the 2012 Assembly polls hoped to not only retain its seats, but also add to its tally to be able to play the kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly.

The RLD, which relied heavily on the Jat-Muslim combination for its electoral success in western UP, had suffered a double whammy after the Muzaffarnagar communal riots in 2013.

“We lost our Jat and Muslim vote bank to our rivals. Jats went to the BJP and Muslims to the Samajwadi Party, post the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar,” a senior party leader told DH here.

Lack of polarisation in the region, however, has given some hope to the RLD this time.
According to political observers, the party has managed to win back a section of the Jats, who are not very happy with the BJP.

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