A day after the Samajwadi Party decided to extend support to the BSP in the biennial Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council polls, B R Ambedkar of Mayawati’s party filed his nomination papers here today. Accompanied by senior BSP leaders, including its national general secretary S C Misra, Ambedkar filed two sets of papers, returning officer and Joint Secretary in the Legislative Assembly Ashok Kumar Chaubey told PTI. Ambedkar’s is the only nomination paper filed so far for the polls to 13 seats of the Legislative Council, he said.
Filing of nomination will continue till April 16 and scrutiny will be done the next day. The last date of withdrawal of nomination paper is April 19. The election will be held on April 26 and counting of votes will take place the same day. Ambedkar had contested the Rajya Sabha polls as a joint opposition candidate of the BSP-SP last month, but lost to the BJP’s Anil Agarwal in second preferential vote. Today, Misra exuded confidence that his party’s candidate will make it to the Upper House of the state legislature with the support of the Samajwadi Party.
In a move signalling further consolidation of the new found friendship, the Samajwadi Party yesterday said it will extend support to the BSP on one seat of the Legislative Council. The SP-BSP combine struck gold in the ‘saffron’ bastion of Gorakhpur, associated with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and Phulpur, earlier represented by his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya, in the recent bypolls to these two Lok Sabha seats. With the BSP’s support, the SP wrested the two seats from the BJP. To ensure victory in the Upper House of the state legislature, a candidate needs 29 first preference votes. Arithmetically, the BJP and its allies are likely to win 11 out of 13 seats comfortably and will still be left with five additional votes. Opposition parties can get two seats.
In the 100-member UP Legislative Council, the BJP has just 13 members. The Samajwadi Party has 61 members, the BSP nine, the Congress two, the RLD one and others 12. Two seats are vacant. The tenures of 13 MLCs, including SP national president Akhilesh Yadav and two ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government — Mahendra Kumar Singh and Mohsin Raza — will end on May 5. Of the 13 seats falling vacant, seven were held by the SP, two each by the BJP and the BSP, and one by the RLD.
The thirteenth seat was held by former SP minister Ambika Chaudhary. His seat fell vacant when he switched over from the SP to the BSP. Apart from the Samajwadi Party president, six other MLCs from the party whose term is coming to an end are state SP chief Naresh Chandra Uttam, senior party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary, Umar Ali Khan, Madhu Gupta, Ramsakal Gurjar and Vijay Yadav. MLCs from other parties whose term ends on May 5 are Vijay Pratap and Sunil Kumar Chittor (both BSP) and Chaudhary Mushtaq — the lone RLD member.
Though the BJP and its allies have 324 MLAs in the 403-member state Assembly, it may not get the required strength in the Upper House to get the bills passed even after winning 11 of the 13 seats by dint of its strength. During the winter session of the state legislature last year, the Yogi Aditynanath government had suffered embarrassment, when it failed to ensure the passage of the Uttar Pradesh Control of Organised Crime (UPCOC) Bill in the Legislative Council.