To gain entry into the Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav club in Uttar Pradesh, Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) may have to pare down its expectations. The RLD wanted to contest five of Uttar Pradesh's 80 seats in the national election; it could end up with three.
Ajit Singh's son Jayant Chaudhary, the RLD vice-president, met with Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow on a seat-sharing arrangement for the national election due by May.
"It was a good discussion (on seat sharing) with Akhilesh and you will know the outcome soon," Mr Chaudhary told reporters after the meeting.
On Saturday, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party - bitter rivals for years - announced a tie-up for the elections and said they would contest 38 seats each. That left four, of which two are the Gandhi family constituencies Amethi and Raebareli.
While declaring that the Congress would be left out of the alliance, the two leaders said the announcement on smaller parties would take place in a few days, indicating that negotiations with the RLD were still work in progress.
Sources say as the RLD fights for a bigger share, Mayawati has refused to yield a single seat, leaving Akhilesh Yadav to do the compromising.
RLD reportedly asked for Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Mathura, Kairana and Hathras.
Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat, which are Ajit Singh's strongholds, were easy but Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav are reportedly against parting with any more.
Even if the Samajwadi Party concedes Mathura, which Mr Chaudhary lost in the 2014 election to the BJP's Hema Malini, Kairana could remain a sticking point.
The RLD is insistent on Kairana, the seat where its candidate pulled off a spectacular victory in by-polls in May, supported by a united opposition, mainly the Congress and Samajwadi Party.
Kairana became a test case for a successful opposition collaboration to defeat the BJP in its own seat. But that seat is now among Samajwadi Party's share of 38.
Sources say in the meeting, Akhilesh Yadav suggested to Jayant Chaudhary a middle path - an RLD member contesting on a Samajwadi symbol.
After meeting Akhilesh Yadav, Mr Chaudhary also met Mayawati to finalise the deal.
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