UP: BJP, JD(U) to sort out seat-sharing issues

BJP and JD(U) appear to have sorted out their differences over continuing their alliance in the forthcoming UP Assembly Elections.

New Delhi: NDA partners BJP and JD(U) appear to have sorted out their differences over continuing their alliance in the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections, but details of seat-sharing will be finalised only after LK
Advani`s anti-corruption yatra gets over.

There had been some bad blood between BJP and JD(U) when the latter recently sent a communiqué to the right-wing party that it wants to contest 53 of the 403 Assembly seats. This was not acceptable to the BJP and was reportedly conveyed to the UP unit of JD(U).

However, now the BJP has sent word to its old ally that it was ready for seat-sharing but the number and selection of seats will be done only after Advani as well as Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Mishra complete their respective yatras.

"The reply has come from the BJP and they are ready to share seats in UP," JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi, who had handed over the list of 53 seats to the BJP, said.

"Talks will take place very soon between us," he said, adding that JD(U) has received a message in this regard from BJP.

BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi echoed these views and said the alliance was intact.

"Discussions are on between the two parties. Seat sharing will take place. After all they are our old allies," Naqvi said.

However, BJP sources said it will still stick to around 20 seats for JD(U) as was the case in the 2007 UP Assembly Elections. But JD(U) has come up with a list of 53 as it is vying for those seats which had been given by BJP to Apna Dal, headed by Sonelal Patel.

With Patel`s death and his party in disarray, JD(U) is laying claim to those seats. "After Apna Dal founder Sonelal Patel`s demise, many of its important leaders have crossed over to JD(U). Hence we have included the entire 53 seats for ourselves this time," Tyagi had said.

Naqvi, who is involved in UP affairs of BJP, informed that party leaders from the state are at present concentrating on making the last leg of Advani`s yatra -- which will pass through western parts of Uttar Pradesh -- a success.

The yatras undertaken by Rajnath Singh and Mishra will also start again after the ongoing break and the party cadre is involved in them too.

A cloud of uncertainty had prevailed whether the two NDA partners, who had registered stupendous victory in neighbouring Bihar last year, will go together in UP or not.

The uncertainty was triggered following assertions by Advani at Thiruvananthapuram that his party would go alone in UP Assembly Elections. BJP president Nitin Gadkari had also said at the BJP national executive here that the party will not have any pre or post poll alliance.

However, this was in the context of new allies and not those parties which are already a part of NDA.

The JD(U) general secretary had said most of the seats identified fall in the districts bordering Bihar, where the party registered a thumping victory under leadership of Nitish Kumar last year.


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