Mulayam Singh Yadav can form the government with the support of Ajit Singh and others, says Faisal Kidwai
The Samajwadi Party can form the government in Uttar Pradesh without the support of the Congress, if initial leads turn into actual wins for the party.
The party is leading at 171 seats and it can take the support of Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal and others to reach the magic figure of 202 -- the number needed to form the state government.
According to figures available till now, SP has emerged as the leading party in UP, the Bahujan Samaj Party is at second place, followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.
If the SP is able to win more than 170 seats, and such a scenario looks increasingly likely, then it can dump the Congress and directly approach the RLD and others for support.
This means that the state will witness plenty of horse-trading and jostling for plump positions by RLD leaders and others. It could take time to form the state government because SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav will negotiate hard before surrendering plump positions to smaller parties.
Plus, he can always threaten to seek the support of the Congress.
The biggest surprise of the elections is the poor performance of the Congress Party, which is struggling to keep even its bastion Amethi intact.