Mulayam dumps Bihar alliance, to contest alone (Second Lead)
Lucknow, Sep 3 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Samajwadi Party on Thursday walked out of the anti-BJP coalition in Bihar and said it will contest the assembly election in the state on its own.
Samajwadi Party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav told reporters here that the “grand coalition” had humiliated his party by giving it just five of the 243 seats.
He said the Samajwadi Party would contest the upcoming Bihar polls “with all its might” and would talk to other parties as well.
There are indications that the party would field 150 candidates in Bihar.
Asked if the decision was linked to his recent meeting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, Yadav answered in the negative.
He said the Samajwadi Party could not be blamed for the division of secular votes, saying the BJP did well in recent elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat even in a straight contest.
Ashok Singh, president of the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), called the Samajwadi Party decision “very unfortunate”.
He said all stakeholders should get together and rethink the issue.
But Samajwadi Party sources ruled out any such possibility and added that the decision was final.
While there were back-channel talks between RJD chief Lalu and Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh in recent days over seat allocation, the deal did not materialize largely owing to opposition from Ram Gopal Yadav.
While the Samajwadi Party was not given any seat initially, Lalu Prasad gave away five seats from his quota of 100.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United will contest another 100 seats. The Congress will contest 40 seats and the Nationalist Congress Party three.