New Delhi: After forming an alliance with the Congress on the 45 seats in Western Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming Assembly elections in the state to be held in seven phases, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has pinned hopes on its traditional Jat-Muslim equation to reap political benefit.

Newly appointed Union Civil Aviation Minister and RLD chief Ajit Singh has recently announced to provide 8 percent reservation to the Muslims to get their vital support in the polls.
Ajit said, “If the Congress-RLD alliance comes to power in the state, the Muslim community will be provided with 8 percent reservation in the government jobs.”

“As per the Mandal Commission report, the Other Backward Classes were given 27 percent reservation while they constitute about 52 percent of the total population in the country. UP has 17-18 percent Muslims and 70 percent of them belong to backward classes. Therefore, backward Muslims deserve to get 6 percent reservation on the basis of their population,” informed the RLD chief.

Lashing out at Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh and BSP chief Mayawati for ignoring the Muslims, Ajit Singh opined, “They were empowered to provide reservation to the backward Muslims in their respective regimes.”

Bolstering Ajit’s effort to unite Jat-Muslim pact, Bahujan Samaj Party MLA from Meerut Haji Yaqub Qureshi along with hundreds of his supporters joined the RLD.
Commenting on the development Yaqub said, “My party United Democratic Front had contested on 81 seats in 2007 Assembly polls.”

RLD to go solo in Uttarakhand

Despite forming an alliance with the Congress in UP, the RLD decided to go to the polls alone in Uttarakhand which is to be held on January 30.

However, the party is yet to decide the number of seats it will contest from.

Sources said the RLD may field its candidates on over three dozen seats. For this the party has started the search of candidates having clean image.

The RLD is striving hard to make its presence felt in the hill state by winning 4-5 seats. The party will be in a better position to bargain with the Congress in case of a hung Assembly.

Uttarakhand RLD chief Rishipal Baliyan said, “No party will form the government without our support.”

JPN/Bureau