Presidential election 2017: NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind is set to become 14th President of India, BJP wanted to capitalize the reported conflict within Samajwadi Party to secure record votes from Uttar Pradesh, Indian Express report says. After securing a clean sweep during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in the politically crucial state, BJP won the Assembly elections with historic mandate a few months ago. While 17 opposition parties have backed Meira Kumar for the country’s top constitutional post, Kovind is set to get nearly 70 per cent of the electoral college votes. Recently, Mulayam Singh Yadav had praised BJP’s move to nominate Kovind. Notably, Kovind hails from Kanpur district. Mulayam had also attended a dinner which was hosted by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in honour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Lucknow visit on June 20. Former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had skipped the dinner.
It has been learned that Mulayam also did not attend the iftar that Akhilesh hosted in Lucknow on June 19 and the birthday celebration of his cousin brother Ram Gopal Yadav. Meanwhile, Mulayam’s brother and SP MLA Shivpal Singh Yadav announced his support for Kovind in Varanasi last week. A BJP leader told IE there are some MLAs who want to enjoy the support of the ruling party for a bright future in politics and such MLAs could support NDA nominee. Notably, the SP has 47 MLAs, five Lok Sabha members and 18 Rajya Sabha members from UP.
Samajwadi Party chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary rubbished the possibility of party MPs and MLAs voting for the NDA’s candidate. “The BJP will not succeed in its agenda. All party MPs and MLAs would follow the decision of party president Akhilesh Yadav who has asked them to vote for Meira Kumar,” he was quoted as saying by IE..
On the other hand, BSP leader in the Assembly, Lalji Verma, said that the party has decided to vote for Meira Kumar and no one would vote for the BJP’s candidate.
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There are 312 MLAs of the BJP, nine of the Apna Dal (Soneylal) and four of the SBSP in the UP Assembly. The BJP has 71 Lok Sabha members while the Apna Dal (Soneylal) has two from UP. The BJP has three Rajya Sabha members from the state. The Apna Dal and the SBSP are partners of the BJP. The BSP has 19 MLAs and six Rajya Sabha members from the state. The Congress has seven MLAs, two Lok Sabha members and three Rajya Sabha members from the state.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, who have not resigned as MPs, and Union Minister Uma Bharti have obtained permission from the Election Commission to vote from Lucknow Monday, while all other MPs would cast their votes in Parliament. There are three independent MLAs.