Lucknow: Even as the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have reached an understanding for the coming Lok Sabha elections, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has demanded five seats to be a part of the ‘gathbandhan’, said sources.

The ‘gathbandhan’ for UP is likely to be announced post-January 15. The five seats that the RLD is said to have sought include Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Mathura and Amroha.

 Chaudhury met SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday where the two spoke for over an hour. Speaking to PTI, he said, “We discussed the present politics and future course of action and also about BJP”s failures.” “General milna, political charcha karna… ye to hota rahna chahiye (routine meetings and political discussions should go on),” he said.
On being asked by the agency if there were any positive outcomes from the meeting, he said, “Certainly things are positive. We (Yadav and him) have known each other for a long time.”

 He also spoke about reports that Yadav might be quizzed by the CBI in the mining scam. “Institutions are being abused (by the BJP government) and everyone is watching. I told Akhilesh, our party is with him.”

Both the SP and the BSP had kept the media guessing about their course of action vis-a-vis Mahagathbandhan. Yadav had said, “In UP, there will be a sangam (confluence) of people and sangam of thoughts, and very soon it will be in front of you.” On being asked whether the Congress will be a part of this confluence, he had said, “I said that there will be a sangam of people and thoughts. All answers are included in this.”

Last weekend,  Yadav announced that the details on seat-sharing with Mayawati will be declared in a week. “You will come to know about it (alliance) in a week or so,” he said when asked as to when an official announcement will be made. On the possibility of the Congress joining the alliance, he had said, “The two leaders of the ‘gathbandhan’ have to decide whether Congress will be there or not.”

Media reports had claimed that both the parties have reportedly 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 alliance, including the Congress.