Patna: JDU which is in alliance with the BJP in Delhi and Patna, will contest against BJP candidates in 51 assembly constituencies in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh, national president of JDU has announced.
Party released the names of 26 constituencies going to elections in the first two phases. They are in the Kurmi dominated pockets .
Singh said JDU wanted to contest the UP assembly elections and reach a seat-sharing agreement with NDA partner, BJP. But, unfortunately, BJP national president, JP Nadda did not consider JDU as its alliance partner in UP, nor hinted at negotiations.
Singh said the union minister of steel, RCP Singh, kept the party leaders in dark. Singh, is a former 1984 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre and headed JDU before Lallan Singh. He was the principal secretary of the chief minister, Nitish Kumar too before being elected to Rajya Sabha in 2012. RCP Singh was authorised to negotiate with the BJP.
According to Lallan Singh, "RCP kept us telling till two days back that BJP wanted to have an electoral alliance with JDU for UP assembly elections. But, JP Nadda even did not talk of talks for seat-sharing."
RCP Singh had taken oath as a union minister in August last year ignoring reservations of Nitish Kumar who wanted three berths in the union cabinet, against one decided by the Prime Minister and RCP hastened to become union minister.
JDU president said since the party leadership was kept in the dark so far, the party could contest only 51 seats," We were prepared to contest 100 seats without reaching into seat-sharing with the BJP, but because of confusion till the last, we are willing to field 51 candidates. We were waiting only because RCP Singh was claiming BJP wanted seat sharing with us, the fact was BJP never wanted."
According to Lallan Singh, Uttar Pradesh JDU president, Anup Patel has claimed there were many claimants of the JDU symbol in Uttar Pradesh.
KC Tyagi, national secretary-general of JDU, who had visited Lucknow yesterday said JDU would be in the direct contest against BJP and its allies candidates in 51 constituencies. Tyagi is a former MP from Uttar Pradesh.