Lucknow(PTI): Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has been admitted to a hospital in Gurgaon…
The grand alliance formed to stop the BJP in its tracks starting with Bihar elections suffered a major setback on Wednesday with one of its major constituents, Samajwadi Party, declaring to pull out and fight the assembly elections on its own.
“We were never consulted during the seat distribution. The Samajwadi Party felt insulted,” lamented Ram Gopal after announcing the decision in Lucknow.
“We could not have signed our own death warrant,” he quipped, alluding to the forfeiture of the party symbol if it joined an alliance, as also to the collapse of the party organisation if it took the raw deal.
Yadav fervently denied any “deal” between the SP and the BJP, while handling a volley of questions related to Mulayam’s recent meeting with PM Narendra Modi. He also denied his own reported meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah.
The Mulayam-Modi meeting had sparked off a wave of speculation about the Yadav chieftain deserting the motley group, which he himself was instrumental in putting together.
He did not say how many seats the party would contest. But sources say the number would be over a hundred. Though the SP does not have a single MLA or MP in Bihar, in previous elections, it has been contesting 100 to 150 seats. In the last election, too, it had fought on 146 seats.
While the development has shocked leaders of the erstwhile Janata Dal groups, it has understandably sent a wave of delight through the BJP camp, which is facing a tough challenge against a combined strength in Bihar.
However, the alliance leaders have initiated efforts to make Mulayam review his decision.
In a bid to downplay the impending damage, JD (U) president Sharad Yadav said in Delhi that he did not know that the Samajwadi Party was not happy with the seat sharing.
Sharad Yadav, who also met Mulayam to pacify him, said that he was confident that he would be able to sort out the matter in a day or two. Upping its ante after the development, BJP said, the so-called grand alliance was doomed to collapse from day one.
“We don’t think he (Mulayam) quit because of five seats. At their rally at Gandhi Maidan, the crowds were only a fourth of that present at the PM’s rally. The Samajwadi Party saw this and realised that the alliance doesn’t have much strength in it,” said BJP leader and Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
Like the NCP, the Samajwadi Party is not a major player in Bihar but the break-up is being seen as a dent in the unity of parties that have grouped against the BJP.