By-polls: Akhilesh seeks alliances with smaller outfits

Akhilesh had a meeting with former UP minister Om Prakash Rajbhar, the president of the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), on Friday. (PTI File Photo)

Desperate to regain lost ground in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav was considering stitching an alliance with smaller caste-based outfits to take on the BJP in the forthcoming by-polls in 12 Assembly seats in the state.

BSP, which was SP's alliance partner in the recently concluded general elections, has walked out of the alliance and already declared that it will go solo in the by-polls.

Akhilesh had a meeting with former UP minister Om Prakash Rajbhar, the president of the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), on Friday. 

According to the sources in the SP, Rajbhar has conveyed to Akhilesh that he was open to an alliance with his party in the Assembly bypolls. SBSP commands considerable influence over the 'Rajbhar' community voters, who are present in sizeable numbers in around a dozen seats in Eastern UP.

Although the SBSP - which had fielded its nominees in the Lok Sabha polls from around two dozen constituencies after breaking alliance with the BJP - could not win any seat, its nominees managed to secure up to 50,000 votes in some of the seats.

Sources said that Rajbhar had asked Akhilesh to spare two Assembly seats - Jalalpur and Belha - for his party, where 'Rajbhar' voters were present in sizeable numbers.

In return, the SBSP would support the SP candidates on all the remaining ten seats, sources said.

'Rajbhars' (an OBC community) formed around 4% of the total electorate and were concentrated in a dozen Eastern UP districts. The SBSP had won eight seats in 2017 Assembly polls in alliance with the BJP.

 

 

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