With the Lok Sabha elections 2019 just months away, political parties have begun the process of arrangements like seat sharing. If sources are to be believed, the seat-sharing arrangement has been finalised by opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh, and the Congress party has been left out of the arrangement.
Sources told Zee News that the arrangement has been reached by the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The Rashtriya Lok Dal is also a part of the seat sharing deal. While the Samajwadi Party and the BSP are expected to contest the elections on equal number of seats, the RLD is likely to get three seats to field its candidates.
According to sources, an official announcement is likely to be made in this regard on January 15, 2019, when BSP supremo Mayawati celebrates her birthday.
The coming together of the BSP and the SP is being considered a tough opposition for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). During the Gorakhpur and the Phulpur Lok Sabha bypolls, the BSP-SP combine had defeated BJP candidates comfortably.
Ahead of the recently-concluded Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, where the Congress emerged victorious, BSP supremo Mayawati had declared that she would not form any pre-poll alliance with the grand old party. Following the snub the BSP chief, the Congress had also reportedly approached the Samajwadi Party, but nothing fruitful could emerge. However, after the Congress party won 114 seats, which was two short of majority in Madhya Pradesh Assembly, the BSP extended its support enabling the formation of the Congress-led government in the state.
Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had joined hands with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for the 2017 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, but the alliance saw a bitter result with the BJP winning the state with a massive majority.
Uttar Pradesh plays a significant role in government formation at the Centre, as the state sends 80 Lok Sabha MPs to Parliament.