Thirteen candidates, including 10 of the BJP, were today declared elected unopposed to the Uttar Pradesh legislative council. Two UP ministers Mahendra Singh and Mohsin Raza, and the BSP’s B R Ambedkar, who lost in the recent Rajya Sabha polls in the state to the BJP, were among those elected, apart from one candidate each of the SP and BJP ally Apna Dal (S). The BJP, which has 21 members after today’s poll result, is still far short of majority in the 100-member Upper House. “Today was the last date for withdrawal of nominations for 13 seats and since no one withdrew from the fray, all the 13 candidates were declared elected,” Returning Officer Ashok Chaubey said.
After today’s election result, the SP has 55 members, BSP eight, Congress two, Apna Dal (S) one and others 12, while one seat is vacant. Of the 13 seats for which results were declared today, seven were held by the SP, two each by the BJP and the BSP and one by the RLD. According to the Election Commission (EC), the tenure of members 12, including SP national president Akhilesh Yadav and two ministers in the Adityanath government — Mahendra Kumar Singh and Mohsin Raza — will end on May 5 when they will complete six years.
The remaining 13th seat was held by former SP minister Ambika Chaudhary and it fell vacant when he switched over to the BSP. The BJP rewarded some turncoats, who had resigned from the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council last year to facilitate the entry of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his two deputies and two other cabinet colleagues into the Upper House of the state Legislature. The SP, headed by Akhilesh Yadav, had initially fielded two candidates, but withdrew one of them, paving the way for Mayawati’s party to field Ambedkar.
Ambedkar had lost in the recent Rajya Sabha polls despite the SP extending support to him after the BSP backed Akhilesh Yadav’s party in the bypolls to the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats which it won . The SP fielded its state unit president Naresh Uttam. Apart from the two state ministers, the other BJP candidates who have been elected are: Sarojini Agarwal, Bukkal Nawab, Yashwant Singh, Jaiveer Singh, Vidhyasagar Sonkar, Vijay Bahadur Pathak, Ashok Kataria and Ashok Dhawan.
Kataria, Sonkar and Pathak are general secretaries of the state BJP unit, while Dhawan, a former MLC, hails from Varanasi. Apna Dal (Sonelal) had fielded president Ashish Singh Patel. In September last year, Adityanath, his two deputies and two ministers were declared elected unopposed to the state Legislative Council.
The chief minister had filed his nomination for the seat vacated by then Samajwadi Party (SP) member Yashwant Singh, while Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had filed his papers for the seat held by SP member Bukkal Nawab. Their term was to expire in July, 2022.
Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma had filed his nomination for the seat vacated by Ashok Bajpai and Swatantra Dev Singh for the seat vacated by then SP member Sarojni Agarwal. Their term was to expire in January, 2021.
Raza, the only Muslim minister in the Adityanath cabinet, had filed his nomination for the seat vacated by BSP member Thakur Jaiveer Singh. Bajpai was recently rewarded with a Rajya Sabha seat from UP.