'Can't Silently Watch...': Senior Leader Quits Party After BJP Tie-Up

Shahid Siddiqui hailed Jayant Chaudhary’s “commitment to secularism”. (File)

New Delhi:

Shahid Siddiqui, the national vice president of the Rashtriya Lok Dal, has resigned from the primary membership of the party and its post following the party’s merger with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Mr Siddiqui, in a post on X, said that he resigned from the party as he cannot “silently watch undermining of all the institutions which have united and made India one of the great nations of the world.”

“Yesterday I resigned from the position of National Vice President of RLD & its membership. Me and my family stood up against Indira’s Emergency & today can’t silently watch undermining of all the institutions which have united & made India one of the great nations of the world. My regards & best wishes to @jayantrld & other colleagues in the party,” he said on Monday.

Jayant Chaudhary, after months of speculation, joined the NDA after the centre conferred his late grandfather and former prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh with the Bharat Ratna.

The BJP which eyes Western UP with optimism, to achieve its ambitious target of 370 seats on its own, despite facing setbacks in the last elections, wants to consolidate its base among the Jats, which are the RLD’s core base, and place it ahead in at least seven seats in the region.

The Jat community has significant influence in a dozen Lok Sabha and around 40 Assembly seats in West UP. They are estimated to make up between 10 and 15 per cent of the population in some 15 districts but are socially dominant, vocal, and have the capacity to build a political atmosphere.

In 2014, the BJP secured 24 out of 27 seats in the region, which dwindled to 19 in 2019, with all eight seats going to the SP-BSP combine.

Mr Siddiqui, however, wrote a separate post for Jayant Chaudhary and hailed his “commitment to secularism and constitutional values”.

“Respected Jayantji, we have worked together for 6 long years and have respect for each other. I, for one, look upon you more as a younger brother than a colleague. We have stood shoulder to shoulder on significant issues and at creating an atmosphere of brotherhood and respect among different communities. No one can doubt your commitment to secularism and the Constitutional values we both cherish. From the time of your late grandfather, Bharat Ratna Choudhary Charan Singhji, your late father Ajit Singhji, and yourself–all of you, as indeed the party you created have stood for these values,” Siddiqui said.

He further said that the RLD becoming a part of the NDA puts him in a bind and a piquant situation.

“I have struggled long and hard in my mind and heart but find myself unable to be associated with an alliance headed by the BJP. I am aware of your political compulsions and am not in a position to advise you otherwise. But speaking for myself I am constrained to withdraw myself from this ongoing campaign, as indeed from the RLD,” the former RLD leader said.

“Kindly accept my resignation. As always wishing you all the very best in the forthcoming elections,” he added.
Lok Sabha polls will be held in seven phases beginning April 19. Uttar Pradesh, which sends the maximum number of MPs, 80, to Parliament, will vote in all seven phases.
With political dynamics shifting in the state, the BJP is spearheading a robust alliance, encompassing parties like RLD, SBSP, Apna Dal (S), and Nishad party bolstering its position.
On the other hand, while Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav aligns with the opposition bloc, Mayawati embarks on the electoral journey solo.
Voting for phases one and two will be held on April 19 and April 26. Next, the state will once again poll in phases three and four on May 7 and May 13. The Uttar Pradesh electorate will also vote in phases five, six and seven on May 20, May 23 and June 1 respectively. The votes will be counted on June 4.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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