New Delhi: Marking the failure of seat
sharing talks with BJP, Janata Dal (U) on Monday said it will go
it alone in Uttar Pradesh, a day after its NDA ally took a
similar decision for the five poll-bound states except Punjab.
Incensed over refusal of its desired share of seats by
BJP, the party said it will decide soon as to how many seats
it will contest in UP now.
"This morning we decided to contest the elections
separately in UP... For the time being, we have decided that
the alliance (with BJP) will not happen for the UP elections,"
JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said.
He claimed that he had talked to BJP Chief Nitin Gadkari
and other senior leaders to resolve the situation.
BJP was, however, tight-lipped about the issue and only
maintained that it was not aware of Yadav`s decision.
JD(U) had indicated its willingness to contest 53 of the
403 Assembly seats under a seat-sharing arrangement with its
NDA partner but the talks hit a roadblock when BJP announced
its first list of candidates for UP, especially in seats JD(U)
was keen to contest.
On the number of seats his party is planning to contest
in UP, Yadav said, "We have called a meeting of all senior
party leaders and we will decide our next course of action on
Maintaining that the two NDA allies had several rounds of
discussions to resolve the situation and arrive at an
electoral understanding, he said the two parties had already
exchanged their candidates list.
"During the discussions, we gave a list of 30-35 people
to BJP leaders Mukhatar Abbas Naqvi and Rajnath Singh asking
them to exclude these seats from their list and told them that
if at all BJP wanted to contest these seats it should discuss
it with us first," he said.
Denying that his party ever demanded 53 seats from BJP,
Yadav said, "We never said anything like that. We only said
that in the last elections we had contested 53 seats along
with Apna Dal. We never demanded 53 seats."
"I don`t understand who will take the decision in BJP. We
talked to several leaders there but it was not clear as to how
many seats they will give to us and how many they will
contest," he said.
Meanwhile, BJP parried a direct reply on the development,
maintaining that it is not aware of what Yadav had said.
"BJP has different types of alliances with its NDA
partners at the state level..... But the party will never have
any alliance with BSP, SP or the Congress in Uttar Pradesh,"
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
Despite the breakdown of seat sharing talks, party
insiders said they were still hopeful of a patch-up as a
senior BJP general secretary was in touch with JD(U) on the
issue to keep the alliance intact.
"We are likely to give JD(U) around 20-22 seats in UP.
BJP will also work on an alliance with a regional party in
the state," a party leader said.