THE Samajwadi Party’s National Executive has authorised party president Akhilesh Yadav to finalize alliances and seat sharing for the Parliamentary elections early year. Senior SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav said, “The main decision taken in the national executive held at luck now is that party president Akhilesh Yadav has been authorised to take a decision on alliance and seat sharing for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.””The executive is of the view that elections should be held through ballot papers and not through EVMs (electronic voting machines),” he told reporters. Reacting to SP’s demand for conducting elections through ballot paper, ruling BJP said that the SP’s demand reflected its “nervousness and desperation”.”The SP appears to have accepted defeat even before the elections,” BJP spokesperson Shalabh Mani Tripathi said. The just concluded general elections in Pakistan for 270 parliamentary seats were conducted through ballot papers .The parties concerned allege that that polling was vitiated not only by violence but also rigging .Ram Gopal Yadav however declined to disclose more details about the meeting saying, “I am telling you about the decisions not the discussions.”About absence of some party leaders, including Azam Khan from the meeting, he said, “Is it necessary that all should remain present? Ninety per cent of the members were present. Party president Akhilesh Yadav was also there.”On being asked as to what the party would do if the Election Commission did not accept their demand for polls through ballot papers, Ram Gopal Yadav said SP leaders would sit at the doors of the EC and resort to satyagraha.Asked about possibilities of him contesting from Sambhal Lok Sabha seat, he said, “It is up to the party to decide whether I will contest or not. If it directs me, I will contest. If it doesn’t, I will not.”
Replying to a question as to who will lead the alliance if it is formed, Ram Gopal Yadav said “The government at the Centre is running with 17 parties. Their leader is only (Narendra) Modi. Every party has its leader.”He had a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was asked to comment frequent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Uttar Pradesh saying “This is just the beginning. As elections approach, he will have to come here on a daily basis.”A senior SP leader said the seat sharing formula could be that each party in the prospective alliance will get to contest in those constituencies where they had either won or were runners-up in the last Lok Sabha polls.Going by this arithmetic, the Congress will be eligible for only eight seats in Uttar Pradesh as it had won two seats and was runners-up in six in the 2014 general elections. Samajwadi Party is not ready to spare more than eight seats for the Congress. If the SP relinquishes these eight seats and some more for smaller partners, its own quota of seats would go well below 30.”In such a scenario, the party believes that it will be left with only 25-26 seats to contest in 2019, which does not suit its stature,” said another SP leader, requesting anonymity. Akhilesh Yadav might not be, therefore, willing to accommodate the Congress beyond its pocket boroughs of Amethi and Rae Bareli represented in the Lok Sabha by Indian National Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi respectively, say an party insider .The experiment of a tie-up with the Congress had failed in the last Assembly polls despite the Akhilesh government’s achievements. ” It is debatable whether such an alliance with INC which has lost foothold in UP will be advisable and in mutual interest, the source said . Meanwhile, the Working Committee of the INC has also empowered its President Rahul Gandhi to discuss and fine-tune alliance for the coming poll.