UP set for triangular contest

Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and  BSP Chief Mayawati. PTI file photo

Uttar Pradesh appears set to witness a triangular contest in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls as the Samajwadi Party (SP) and BSP on Thursday declared details of the seats to be contested by them virtually shutting doors on the Congress.

SP would be contesting 37 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state while its alliance partner BSP would field its candidates on 38 seats. Three seats have been left for the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). 

The alliance would not field its nominees on Amethi and Raebareli LS seats, represented by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi respectively.

The 37 constituencies, where the SP would field its candidates, included Varanasi, the LS constituency of prime minister Narendra Modi, and Gorakhpur, the home town of UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

SP has also been given Lucknow, Faizabad, Allahabad, Phulpur, Kairana, Ferozabad, Moradabad, Rampur, Sambhal, Bareilly, Sambhal, Ghaziabad, Hathras, Mainpuri, Etah, Azamgarh and Mirzapur.

The seats given to the BSP included Saharanpur, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Shahajahanpur, Meerut, Agra, Jaunpur, Ghosi and Deoria. RLD has been given Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat and Mathura seats. 

Of the 17 seats reserved for the SC/ST, the SP would contest seven and BSP ten.

According to the sources, RLD was adamant on its demand for four LS seats and there was a possibility that the SP might agree to allow an RLD leader to contest on SP symbol on one of its eats.

With Thursday's finalisation of the seat details, the SP-BSP alliance had virtually shut all the doors on the Congress, which has been hoping for a last-minute electoral understanding.

Congress has already declared that it will put up its candidates on all 80 seats though it has not ruled out an alliance with some smaller caste-based outfits.

''We are in the process of selecting our candidates....we will contest on our own though we will have an understanding with some smaller outfits,'' said a state Congress leader here while reacting to the SP-BSP seat details.

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UP set for triangular contest

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