Kairana by-polls for the parliamentary seats are less than a month away from now. All the political parties have started gearing up for the elections. Death of BJP MP Hukum Singh in February necessitated the polling process in Kairana. The Kairana seat is eyed by all the national and regional parties. The elections in Kairana might set the tone for the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) led by Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav respectively had signalled towards a pre-poll alliance for the Kairana by-poll. The decision to keep Congress out of the equation was taken after much deliberation by the SP and BSP leaders. To add to the woes of SP, Mayawati has chosen to opt out of this alleged coalition. Her reasoning is simple, Akhilesh Yadav despite all the promises made could not see Mayawati’s lone Rajya Sabha candidate through. The BSP under Mayawati might field candidates in the upcoming Kairana by-polls. In the game of politics a new alliance might be on the cards for Akhilesh Yadav’s SP. The offer has come from Rashtriya Lok Dal led by Choudhary Ajit Singh. RLD is a popular party in western Uttar Pradesh.
Choudhary Ajit Singh is the son of former Prime Minister of India Choudhary Charan Singh. Choudhary Ajit Singh is the head of RLD which has a considerable voter base in western UP. Choudhary Ajit Singh is also quite well known amongst the farmers and rural population of UP. His image is that of a farmer friendly politician who has helped them countless number of times during difficult times. Ajit Singh’s RLD had earlier fought many elections in alliance with many parties. The Jat dominated western UP has almost always ensured a member of the RLD winning seats in any elections. Ajit Singh has the honour of fighting elections with both BJP and UPA in previous elections. Its dismal performance in the UP-state elections 2017 had broken the morale of its workers. Ajit Singh is looking to deliver and he has a plan. The terms given to SP President Akhilesh Yadav are simple, support the RLD candidate and do not field your own candidates.
This would lead to a difficult situation for SP chief Akhilesh Yadav. He would have to undermine his own party leaders and workers to please RLD and Ajit Singh. The decision for Akhilesh is difficult to take as he would like to show BSP chief that he can win elections on his own. The victory in Gorakhpur and Phulpur happened with BSP alliance and Kairana by-polls are the only opportunity left for Akhilesh Yadav to prove his mettle and reach. Even if Akhilesh Yadav agrees to a coalition with RLD and RLD wins the seat, it would mean that there would be a bigger demand for seats by the RLD in 2019 elections. SP’s position in the united opposition front would be severely affected by this in 2019 irrespective of the results.
The Jats and Gujjars are the two dominant communities in Kairana. Hukum Singh himself was a Gujjar and his community would remain loyal to BJP in the upcoming by-polls. Ajit Singh is a leader of the Jats and his contesting the elections alone would mean a three party contest. This will help the BJP in retaining the Kairana seat. Akhilesh Yadav will find it difficult to agree or disagree with the offer presented to him by Ajit Singh. The ball is in his court now but his choices have become more complex, with BSP looking to fight alone, Congress sidelined and a mind boggling offer from RLD, Akhilesh Yadav must be facing some troubled nights.