Ajit Singh's RLD joins UPA
New Delhi: RLD, with five members in the
Lok Sabha, today formally joined the UPA amid speculation that
its chief Ajit Singh would be included in the Cabinet as Civil
With RLD joining the ruling coalition, its strength has
gone up from 272 to 277 MPs.
"Ajit Singh gave a letter to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi
stating that RLD would like to join the alliance and the
latter has agreed to this," Congress General Secretary
Digvijay Singh told reporters here.
In the backdrop of speculation that Ajit Singh will be
inducted into the Cabinet, Digvijay Singh was asked who will
be the next Civil Aviation Minister. "You are addressing this
question to the wrong person," he said.
Ajit Singh also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today,
adding more fuel to talks of his imminent induction into the
Digvijay Singh is in-charge of Congress affairs in Uttar
Pradesh. Former Union Minister and Samajwadi Party MP Rasheed
Masood also joined the Congress ahead of the UP elections.
This is likely to help the party woo Muslim voters.
"I have taken this decision in view of the way communal
forces were trying to gain strength by using the issue of
corruption," Masood said.
He said that his decision was also prompted by Samajwadi
Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's "controversial" statement to
the effect that giving reservation to Muslims within the OBC
quota would affect the share of other OBCs.
RLD will contest 45 of the 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh
Assembly in the forthcoming polls in alliance with Congress.