JD(U) to back RLD in UP assembly by-polls, explores broader alliance in state

Fresh from its Bihar triumph, the JD(U) is in talks with RLD for forging a coalition in Uttar Pradesh.

New Delhi/Lucknow: JD(U) on Sunday announced it will back RLD candidates for the by-poll to three assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh even as it explores forming a coalition with Ajit Singh's party, Congress and others for the state polls due next year, after the success of the grand alliance experiment in Bihar.

"Our party will support RLD candidates on all three seats in the by-elections going to be held on February 13," JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav told reporters after a meeting of the party's state executive committee in Lucknow.

Making the announcement, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said doors were open for the formation of a grand alliance in the state for which "talks are on but nothing concrete has come up till now".

By-elections are scheduled for Bikapur, Muzaffarnagar and Deoband assembly seats.

Fresh from its Bihar triumph, the JD(U) is in talks with RLD for forging a coalition in the key state.

Sources said RLD chief Ajit Singh had a meeting with JD(U) President Sharad Yadav a couple of days back during which the two leaders discussed the broad contours of a larger coalition against the BJP at a time when both SP and BSP, the two major players in state politics, have decided to go it alone in the elections.

The RLD chief had also discussed the issue with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Delhi last month when the latter was here for the launch of Yadav's autobiography.

Peace Party chief Ayub Ansari had also met Nitish Kumar and JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi to discuss the issue, sources said. Peace Party has its presence in Eastern UP, mainly in areas around Gorakhpur.

Tyagi, a senior party leader from Uttar Pradesh who has been assigned the task of organizing a joint rally of the RLD and JD(U) in western Uttar Pradesh said, "We are keen to be part of any anti-BJP campaign or front.