Desperate to regain its national party status, the Samajwadi Party is contesting on as many as 200 of the 243 seats in Bihar, even at the cost of its relations with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal.
In July, the Election Commission had derecognised the SP as a national party following its poor showing in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections in states other than UP. To have the national party status, a party should get enough votes to be recognised as a regional party in at least four states.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the SP had not fielded any candidates in Bihar following an electoral understanding with the Lalu’s RJD and Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party. And in the neighboring states of Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh, the party got very few votes.