BSP counts on SP-Cong-RLD support for win in RS polls
Lucknow: The BSP is counting heavily on the 'surplus' votes of the SP, besides support from the Congress and the RLD for the victory of its lone candidate in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections from Uttar Pradesh.
Arithmetically for the Bahujan Samaj Party, which has 19 MLAs in the 403-member UP Assembly, the likely support by the Samajwadi Party which has 10 additional first preference votes, the Congress (seven) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (one), will help it get 37 votes required for a win.
"The Samajwadi Party, which will be left with 10 additional votes (after ensuring election of its candidate Jaya Bachhan) is likely to transfer its surplus votes to the BSP," a senior SP leader told PTI.
SP spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan, when contacted said, "A decision in this regard will be taken soon by party chief Akhilesh Yadav. We are ready for any sacrifice to keep the communal elements at bay."
RLD spokesperson Anil Dubey said, "We have already made up our mind to support the BSP in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections, and the SP in the Legislative Council polls."
Meanwhile, the Congress has decided to support BSP candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar for the Rajya Sabha elections.
"A meeting of Congress Legislature Party was held and after consulting the MLAs, we have decided to vote for the BSP nominee," CLP leader Ajay Singh Lallu said.
"We have decided to join hands with the secular forces against the oppressive and communal politics and decided to vote for the BSP candidate," Lallu said, adding that the central leadership of the party has been apprised of the decision and they have supported it.
The Congress' support comes after BSP chief Mayawati offered a quid pro quo in Rajya Sabha elections in UP and Madhya Pradesh.
Under the deal, her party would support the Congress candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls in Madhya Pradesh, if all its seven MLAs vote for the BSP's Rajya Sabha candidate in UP.
The BSP, with 19 MLAs, needs 18 more first preference votes to ensure a smooth sail of its nominee, who has already filed his nomination, for the elections to the Upper House of Parliament.
The SP, which has 47 MLAs, would be left with 10 surplus first preference votes after backing its candidate Jaya Bachhan and together with seven Congress and one of the RLD, the BSP would be able to get its candidate elected.
The nomination process for the elections to UP's 10 Rajya Sabha seats will close on March 12 and polling, if necessary, will be held on March 23.
A former BSP MLA, Ambedkar filed his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha polls on March 7.
Senior UP BJP leader JPS Rathore when contacted said, "In this Rajya Sabha elections, a candidate needs 37 first preference votes to emerge victorious. Arithmetically, the BJP is easily winning eight out of the 10 seats."
He said, "At present, we have 28 additional votes, and expect a contest for the ninth seat."
With the BJP and its allies storming to power in the state in the 2017 Assembly elections, the saffron party is set to wrest a lion's share of these seats in the Rajya Sabha, which is also called the Council of States.
In the UP Assembly, the BJP and its allies currently have 324 seats (BJP's Noorpur MLA died recently in a road accident).
During the previous biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha, six years back, the SP managed to win six seats by dint of its strength in
the state Assembly, whose members are voters in the indirect poling.
In the 245-member Upper House of Parliament, Uttar Pradesh has 31 seats being the most populous state of the country.