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Rediff.com  » News » Can 3 jailed SP MLAs in UP vote in Tuesday's crucial RS polls?

Can 3 jailed SP MLAs in UP vote in Tuesday's crucial RS polls?

By Arunav Sinha
Last updated on: February 25, 2024 23:51 IST
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The February 27 Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh will witness a high-pitched electoral battle ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, with the Bharatiya Janata Party fielding eight candidates and the Opposition Samajwadi Party three for the 10 seats up for grabs.

IMAGE: SP chief Akhilesh Yadav holds a mace with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as he joins the party's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, in Agra, February 25, 2024. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also seen. Photograph: / Rediff.com

The outcome of the polls to the Rajya Sabha is likely to have an impact in the politically crucial state just ahead of the general elections in the country.

 

The ruling BJP and the principal opposition SP have the numbers to send seven and three members respectively unopposed to the Rajya Sabha, but with the BJP fielding Sanjay Seth as its eighth candidate, a keen contest is on the cards in one of the seats.

Seth, a local industrialist and former SP leader, joined the BJP in 2019.

He filed his nomination in the presence of deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and other senior party leaders.

Voting for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats will be held on Tuesday and the results will also be announced the same day.

The BJP and the SP are the two largest parties in the 403-member state assembly with 252 MLAs and 108 MLAs respectively.

The Congress, an alliance partner of the SP, has two seats. BJP ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) 13, NISHAD Party six, Rashtriya Lok Dal nine, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party six, Jansatta Dal Loktantrik two and the Bahujan Samaj Party one.

Four seats are currently vacant.

The seven other candidates fielded by the BJP are former Union minister RPN Singh, former MP Chaudhary Tejveer Singh, general secretary of the party's Uttar Pradesh unit Amarpal Maurya, former state minister Sangeeta Balwant (Bind) party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, former MLA Sadhna Singh and former Agra mayor Naveen Jain.

The SP has fielded actor-MP Jaya Bachchan, retired IAS officer Alok Ranjan and Dalit leader Ramji Lal Suman.

To get elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, a candidate needs nearly 37 first preference votes, an official said.

Elaborating further about the Rajya Sabha elections, Returning Officer Brijbhushan Dubey said, "A candidate will need 36.37 first preference votes to register a win. At present, there are 399 MLAs in the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly."

Asked whether the three jailed MLAs will also be able to vote in the Rajya Sabha elections, Dubey told PTI that it would be decided by the court and the political party concerned.

SP MLAs Irfan Solanki and Ramakant Yadav and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party legislator Abbas Ansari are in prison.

Dubey further said that MLAs will enter from gate 7, take ballot papers from room 80 and head to Tilak Hall to cast their votes.

"Polling will be held from 9 am to 4 pm. Counting will commence from 5 pm and results are likely to be announced on Tuesday night," he added.

Exuding confidence in the BJP's performance in the Rajya Sabha elections, Maurya told PTI, "All BJP candidates will register a win in the Rajya Sabha elections."

Chief whip of the Samajwadi Party in the legislative assembly Manoj Pandey said all SP MLAs will be voting for the party's candidates in the Rajya Sabha election.

Asked if one of the SP candidates may eventually fall short by one vote, Pandey said, "How will we fall short? Our people had contested (the 2022 UP Assembly elections) from the SBSP and the Rashtriya Lok Dal. And, basically, they are from the SP."

Although Pandey exuded confidence that MLAs of the SBSP and the RLD will vote for the SP candidates, both parties have joined the BJP-led NDA.

Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) leader Pallavi Patel, an ally of the Samajwadi Party, had earlier said that she would not vote in the Rajya Sabha polls as she did not agree with the SP decision to field Bachchan and Ranjan.

Speaking to PTI on Sunday, she said, "I will be voting in the Rajya Sabha elections. That is my right and my duty. But I have not decided yet who will be the candidate."

On whether the two jailed SP MLAs would be casting their votes, Pandey said, "The party is making efforts to bring them to Lucknow so that they can cast their votes."

"All the three candidates fielded by the party will emerge victorious in the Rajya Sabha elections," former chief secretary of the state and SP candidate Ranjan told PTI.

He added that unlike the Lok Sabha elections or the legislative assembly elections, Rajya Sabha polls are a different ball game altogether.

Congress MLA from Pharenda in Maharajganj district told PTI, "Now, with the Congress and Samajwadi Party forging an alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, the picture here is also very clear. We will vote for the candidates fielded by the SP. The candidate of the SP will be our candidate. We will vote for the SP candidate, about whom we will be told by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav."

Ramashish Rai UP unit chief of Rashtriya Lok Dal, which recently switched over to the NDA fold said that all the RLD MLAs will vote for the BJP candidates in the ongoing Rajya Sabha elections.

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Arunav Sinha in Lucknow
Source: PTI© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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