Lucknow: For this year’s Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, national parties like BJP and Congress are hoping to win by allying with smaller regional parties. The regional parties have also gone ahead with an alliance because they aim for a foothold on the bigger stage. With their influence restricted to their areas, regional parties can only do so if they have the backing of a big party like the BJP or the Congress.

The BJP has happily been following this formula since 2014. In fact, it won 73 of the 80 seats in UP because of its allies. For 2017 Assembly elections, it had the backing of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) of O P Rajbhar.

Here’s a look at the parties that have been handpicked for UP Lok Sabha elections 2019:

Apna Dal (S): BJP tied up with this party for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Part of NDA now, Apna Dal (S) got a ministerial berth also. It fought from two seats and won from both. In 2017 Lok Sabha elections, the party fought from one seat and won that too.

SBSP: Party chief Rajbhar has influence over the scheduled castes and very backward castes. Buoyed by the success of alliance with Apna Dal (S), the BJP tied up with the SBSP for the 2017 Assembly elections. However, it is yet to be seen how this party fares this time.

Nishad Party: This party kept everyone guessing for a long time as to whose side it was going to. Days after the SP-BSP-RJD announced tying up with the NP, party MP Praveen Nishad, who had fought last year’s by-poll from an SP ticket, joined the BJP. The party also announced it would be backing the BJP this time around. The party claimed it wasn’t given the due importance and its name was missing from posters, propaganda material.

The Congress, on its part, has also zeroed in on smaller parties after being snubbed by the SP-BSP-RLD alliance. Here’s a look at who the grand old party is allying with:

Apna Dal (Krishna Patel): BJP’s formula came in handy and the Congress has got into an electoral understanding with regional parties with a sizable influence in western UP, eastern UP and the Bundelkhand regions. This party claims influence over the Patel voters. The Congress has reportedly given two seats, Gonda and Pilibhit, to this ally.

Mahan Dal: This party cannot claim to have made a big kill in any of the recent elections but it has a good hold over the voters of Kushwaha, Shakya, Maurya, Saini, Kamboj, Bhagat, Mahato, Murav and Bhujbal communities.

Janadhikar Party: With a tie-up with Babu Singh Kushwaha’s party, the Congress has made it obvious that it wants to net the non-Yadav votes. Kushwaha holds a good influence over the Kurmi community. This party has been given five seats by the Congress.