Rajya Sabha polls: How Naresh Agarwal joining BJP is bad news for SP-BSP combine in Uttar Pradesh

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New Delhi | Published: March 13, 2018 5:02:03 PM

Naresh Agarwal is basically from the Congress background and known for his political management skills. In past, Agrawal has been a member of SP, BSP as well as Congress.

naresh agarwalSenior Samajwadi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agarwal being welcomed by Union Minister Piyush Goyal as he joins BJP at party headquarters in New Delhi on Monday. PTI Photo

Rajya Sabha polls 2018: First day of Naresh Agarwal, who dumped Samajwadi Party camp to join the BJP ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections on Monday, was jinxed by a controversy over his remarks against Samajwadi Party Upper House nominee Jaya Bachchan. On Tuesday, Agarwal regretted using the term “woman who used to dance” against Jaya but the controversy doesn’t seem to end soon. Amid all the noise, what is interesting is the fact that Agarwal is set to upset the calculation of BSP-SP combine ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh.

As many as 10 Upper House members are to be elected from Uttar Pradesh. BJP is certain about winning eight seats, SP about one and BSP was expecting to win one seat with the support of remaining MLAs. The SP has 47 votes, which means at least 10 votes will remain available even after Jaya Bachchan gets elected comfortably. As many as 37 votes are necessary for winning a Rajya Sabha seat in UP. Out of the 10 SP votes, Agarwal will likely secure one vote of his son and MLA Nitin Agarwal for the BJP. He may try to get more SP votes for the BJP, affecting chances of BSP candidate Bhim Rao Ambedkar.

Before Agarwal joined BJP, BSP was hoping to win the Rajya Sabha seat with the help of its 19 MLAs, SP’s 10, Congress’ 7 and one vote of National Lok Dal (Total 37). Out these, BSP has lost the vote of Nitin and can now hope for only 36 votes, if Agarwal fails to secure more votes for the BJP.

BJP has fielded Ghaziabad trader Anil Agarwal as its ninth candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls. As a caution, Vidyasagar Sonkar and Salil Bishnoi of BJP have also filed nominations elections but they are likely to withdraw if the first nine nominations are approved.

In past, Agrawal has been a member of SP, BSP as well as Congress. It is expected that he would use his connections in the three parties to help BJP win one more seat in the Rajya Sabha elections.

While joining the BJP, Agarwal had said he was not happy getting sidelined by the SP for Rajya Sabha polls and he was all praise for the development works of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

Rumours of Agarwal increasing closeness with finance minister Arun Jaitley was doing the rounds recently.

Agarwal is basically from the Congress background and known for his political management skills. He had left the Congress in 1997 to form All India Loktantrik Congress Party and was successful in sending Rajiv Shukla, then a journalist-turned-politician, to the Rajya Sabha.

After ensuring win of eight candidates, BJP will have votes of 28 more MLAs. The saffron party is expecting four votes of independents including Raja Bhaiya and Amarmani Tripathy and one vote of Nitin Agarwal. The saffron party is hoping Naresh Agarwal will help the party secure four more votes.

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