New Delhi: The Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have reportedly reached a seat-sharing deal in Uttar Pradesh for upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2019 on Friday. The decision, as per reports, was taken at a meeting between Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati – the chiefs of both parties – in New Delhi.

The two parties have reportedly have decided on an equal seat-sharing formula in the crucial state. The SP-BSP would field candidates from 37 seats each, leaving just six seats for the other players of the Mahagathbandhan, including the Congress, sources were quoted as saying in a News18 report.

Out of the six remaining seats, the BSP and SP are offering the Congress only Rae Bareli and Amethi seats. Both were won by the grand old party in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Furthermore, two seats are likely to go to Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). While party chief Ajit Singh will likely contest from Baghpat, his son Jayant Choudhary may be fielded from Mathura.

If the reports turn out to be true then it will be a major setback for the Congress, which is “optimistic” of a grand alliance in the state for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. A few days back, Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar had said his party was “optimistic” of a grand alliance in the state. He told PTI that the people wanted the Opposition to contest the general elections in Uttar Pradesh together.

This is not the first time that the news of SP-BSP reaching a seat-sharing deal in Uttar Pradesh for Lok Sabha polls have emerged. Earlier in December last year, sources told Zee News that both the parties have agreed on an equal share in seats for the general elections 2019, adding that the Congress would not be a part of the ‘gathbandhan’. Sources also claimed that Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) would also be a part of the alliance. An announcement on the same is likely on Mayawati’s birthday on January 15, they added.

However, the BSP later rjected the reports of parties already finalising an alliance for the coming Lok Sabha elections 2019 in Uttar Pradesh and termed them fake. Furthermore, it said that an announcement on the same will be made once things are finalised.

“Reports that seat sharing is finalised in UP are fake. Whenever it will be finalised we will come out through media,” Senior BSP leader SC Mishra had said while speaking to ANI.