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RLD considers more challenging seat-sharing negotiations with SP after the state party status revoked

The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) is hoping to increase its electoral support and gain ground in the upcoming urban local body elections in Uttar Pradesh when the Election Commission (EC) decides to withdraw the party’s status as a state party. To reserve the “hand pump” emblem for the RLD for the local body elections set for May 4, party chief Jayant Chaudhary wrote to the State Election Commission on Tuesday.

Based on its performance in the Lok Sabha elections that year, when it won five out of the nine seats it ran for, the RLD, which was founded by Jayant’s father Chaudhary Ajit Singh in 1996, was accorded the status of a state party in 2009.

In the Jat-dominated west of Uttar Pradesh, the RLD had been steadily advancing. It received 2.33% of the vote in the 2012 Assembly elections, winning nine of the 403 members. 2017 saw a decline in the party’s standings as it only won one seat and received 1.78% of the vote. The elections for the Assembly last year turned out to be better. It competed alongside the Samajwadi Party (SP), winning eight seats and 2.85% of the vote.The party, however, failed to win either of the last two Lok Sabha elections.

The party received less than 1% of the vote in 2014 and was unable to win any seats. It was a rerun of 2019, when the party received just 1.67% of the vote and failed to win a seat.

The biggest setback would be reserving the emblem in the seats, RLD national spokesperson Anil Dubey said on Tuesday, a day after the EC’s ruling. The hand pump symbol may be given to anyone in seats that we are not vying for. Along with other things, our candidates will not be entitled to free access to the most recent voter’s list. The decision of the EC is respected. It had a long overdue date.

For the RLD, which was hoping to haggle with the SP for a portion of seats in the civic body elections, the timing is key. The RLD wanted to win a larger proportion of seats in both the Lok Sabha elections and the municipal elections, according to party sources who spoke to The Indian Express. They further stated that as part of the deal, the party was interested in at least one mayoral position in west UP. After the EC’s ruling, this can become challenging.

The RLD asserted on Wednesday that the EC’s decision will not have an impact on its standing with the UP electoral commission. The status of the party was examined by the Central Election Commission, not the State Election Commission, according to Dubey. In light of this, candidates for next urban local body elections would be entitled to run on the handpump emblem.

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