RLD emerges as major gainer in UP civic polls
While the Samajwadi Party’s (SP) seat share in the urban local body polls dropped by around 3 per cent, its ally, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has emerged as a major gainer.
Lucknow, May 18,2023: While the Samajwadi Party’s (SP) seat share in the urban local body polls dropped by around 3 per cent, its ally, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has emerged as a major gainer.
The RLD doubled its tally in the recent civic polls.
The State Election Commission data shows RLD’s seats in the civic elections jumped from 53 in 2017 to 102 this year.
This indicates that Jayant Chaudhary-led party has resurrected itself ahead of the next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
According to party sources, the RLD contested on 32 Nagar Palika Parishad (NPP) chairman seats and won seven — Baghpat, Badaut (Baghpat), Loni (Ghaziabad), Khatauli (Muzaffarnagar), Nehtaur (Bijnor), Dhampur (Bijnor) and Achhnera (Agra).
This is significant since it had failed to win a single NPP seat in the previous civic elections.
The party contested on 46 Nagar Panchayat seats and won seven — Ambehta Peer (Saharanpur), Jansath (Muzaffarnagar), Garhipukhta (Shamli), Banat (Shamli), Patla (Ghaziabad), Naugaon Sadat (Amroha) and Nandgam (Mathura).
In 2017, it had won only three NP chairman seats.
RLD has also increased its presence in the municipal corporation from four seats in 2017 to 10 this year.
The same pattern emerged after the 2022 Assembly elections when the RLD won eight seats in comparison to just one in 2017 polls.
The party later added another seat to its kitty by winning Khatauli by poll after the disqualification of BJP MLA Vikram Saini in a criminal case.
The RLD-SP alliance helped the RLD in reaching out to Muslims who have been at loggerheads with Jats in west UP after the 2013 communal riots in Muzaffarnagar.
Jayant Chaudhary is now preparing to consolidate the new ground by starting a ‘Samrasta’ (social harmony) campaign from Baghpat on Friday.
The electoral gains in the civic polls could help RLD in regaining political ground which it lost amid the meteoric rise of the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
RLD’s performance is in contrast with BJP allies like the Apna Dal(S) and NISHAD party which have kept a low profile.
Data show that Apna Dal (S) contested on only two NPP chairman seats — Suar (Rampur) and Mauranipur reserved seat (Jhansi) — and won Suar.
It also contested on two NP chairman seats of Pratapgarh — Katra Gulab Singh and Mandhata Bazaar — and won the latter.
Sanjay Nishad-led NISHAD party contested on one NPP chairman seat of Kalpi (Jalaun) and lost.
The party contested on eight NP chairman seats and won only Chopan in Sonbhadra.