According to JD(U) sources, the alliance with RLD chief Chaudhary Ajit Singh could not be sealed as the Jat leader was too “demanding”.
“Ajit Singh wanted a Rajya Sabha seat for himself, and he also wanted his son Jayant to be projected as a Chief Ministerial candidate (in UP) besides wanting to lead the new formation. With limited appeal in western UP, he was asking for too much,” said a JD(U) leader based in Lucknow.
Besides that, Ajit Singh had reportedly opened up channels of communication with the BJP which further angered the JD(U).
That the JD(U) and the RLD have drifted away from each other is evident from the fact that the RLD leaders have not been invited to Nitish Kumar’s rally in Varanasi on Thursday to kick off his poll campaign.
A miffed RLD will now be holding its own rally in Gorakhpur on the same day which will be addressed by Jayant Chaudhary. Interestingly, while Ajit Singh has burnt his bridges with the JD(U), the BJP is also not too keen on allying with him.
BJP vice president Om Mathur told reporters in Ballia this week that there was no possibility of an alliance with the RLD. He said that contrary to reports, there had been no negotiations with Ajit Singh.
Ajit Singh is being increasingly isolated in the state. His Jat vote base is equally disappointed with the leader and feels that he has betrayed them over the Jat reservation issue.
After RLD, the fledgling Apna Dal has also walked out of the grand alliance. Apna Dal president Krishna Patel said that she had attended the Delhi lunch in February with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Ajit Singh as a “matter of courtesy” and she had no plans to break her alliance with the BJP.
“We hope that our alliance with the BJP will continue”, she said.
The Peace Party is also said to be disinclined towards the grand alliance which has already lost much of its sheen.
“The Peace Party would rather join hands with the AIMIM and Mahaan Dal alliance because the JD(U) led alliance has lost all its members. On its own, the JD(U) does not have a base in UP and it does not even have allies who can give it a launching pad,” said a Peace Party leader.
However, these developments have not disheartened Nitish Kumar who is preparing to launch a campaign in the state. Sources close to the Bihar Chief Minister said that he has planned an extensive campaign for Uttar Pradesh and will club it with social reforms.