RLD leader meets Akhilesh to discuss Mahagathbandhan

Jayant Chaudhary

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) vice-president Jayant Chaudhary on Tuesday met Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Akhilesh Yadav to "discuss" the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) in Uttar Pradesh to counter the BJP in the next Lok Sabha polls.

According to sources, the two leaders held closed-door discussions for about an hour at SP headquarters here.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Jayant said that they discussed the prevailing political situation in the state and also the future strategy. He, however, refused to reveal as to which parties would be part of the grand alliance.

Sources said that RLD leader and SP supremo did discuss the seat-sharing formula and the seats that the RLD might be offered as part of the Mahagathbandhan. "The RLD is likely to be given three to four seats in the western region in the state as part of the grand alliance," said an SP leader, who was privy to the discussions, here.

Jayant also evaded a direct reply, when asked about the inclusion of the Congress in the grand alliance.

Akhilesh had met BSP supremo Mayawati in the national capital on Friday to "firm up" the grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh. 

Though a formal announcement about the alliance was yet to be made, sources said that both the SP and the BSP were likely to contest on 37 seats each in the state, which sent 80 MP's to the Lok Sabha.

Four seats could go to the RLD and on two seats of Raebareli and Amethi, represented by Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi, the grand alliance would not put up its nominee.

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