The newly-formed alliance of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party seems to have finalised the seat-sharing agreement for western Uttar Pradesh. Another player, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), is also set to get a fair share in agreement struck between the major political players in the state, which send 80 MPs to Lok Sabha.
Sources have told Zee News that a deal has been finalised among the three parties for 22 seats in western Uttar Pradesh. As part of the deal, the BSP has been given the maximum share in the region as it would field candidates on as many as 10 seats.
While the Samajwadi Party has been given three seats to field its candidates, one candidate of the RLD will contest from Hathras on the symbol of the party led by former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. The RLD will contest from three seats on its own symbol.
The coming together of Mayawati's BSP and Akhilesh Yadav's SP has emerged as a major challenge for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of Lok Sabha election 2019. The Congress, which was earlier expected to be part of the opposition alliance, was also left out by the two key Uttar Pradesh players. However, during a joint press conference with Akhilesh Yadav recently, Mayawati had declared that they would not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli - the Lok Sabha seats of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
During the Lok Sabha by-elections in Gorakhpur and the Phulpur last year, Samajwadi Party candidates had defeated their BJP rivals comfortably, with backing from the BSP.
Zee News had earlier reported that the BSP and the SP are likely to contest on 38 seats each.
Announcing the seat-sharing arrangement, BSP chief Mayawati had said that the BSP and the SP had come together to fight against the 'toxic politics' of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "For us, the country is bigger than any differences. Even the 1995 Guest House scandal cannot stop us from working for the benefit of the country," she had said.