Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his two deputies and two ministers were all set to be elected unopposed to the UP Legislative Council, with no other candidate in the fray for the bypolls to the five vacant seats in the upper house. Adityanath, deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma and ministers Mohsin Raza and Swatantradev Singh filed their nominations papers this morning for the by- election, hours before the deadline ended. “The process of filing nominations today ended at 3.00 pm and barring these five candidates, no one else filed their nomination papers,” Principal Secretary (state assembly) Pradeep Dubey, who is also the returning officer, told PTI. Since there is no other candidate, their victory is a foregone conclusion. Once the nomination papers are found in order during scrutiny tomorrow, their election will be formally announced.
Earlier in the day, Adityanath and his ministerial colleagues filed their nomination papers in the presence of their cabinet colleagues and senior party leaders, including newly-appointed BJP state unit chief Mahendra Nath Pandey. Of the five seats for which bypolls will be held, four were vacated by SP MLCs Buqqal Nawab, Yashwant, Sarojini Agarwal and Ashok Bajpai. The fifth seat fell vacant when Jaiveer Singh resigned from the BSP and joined the BJP.
According to senior officials of the UP Assembly, the chief minister filed his nomination papers for the seat vacated by Yashwant. Maurya filed nomination papers for the seat vacated by Nawab, while Sharma is contesting from the seat vacated by Bajpai.
Similarly, ministers Singh and Raza filed nomination papers for the seats vacated by Agarwal and Jaiveer respectively. While the terms of Yashwant and Nawab were to end in 2022, the tenures of Bajpai and Agarwal would have ended in 2021. Jaiveer’s term would have ended in April 2018. The newly elected members will now serve the rest of the term on these seats. As the high-profile candidates completed the formalities, a large number of MLAs of the ruling party accompanied them and chanted slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.
Before proceeding to Vidhan Bhawan to file their nomination papers, the candidates met in the state BJP headquarters where a large number of party MLAs and ministers were present. Adityanath, who took over as the chief minister on March 19, has to become a legislator within the stipulated six months of assuming office and the deadline will expire on September 19.
Similarly, Maurya, Sharma, Raza and Singh are not members of either of the two Houses of the state legislature. All of them have to be elected to either the Assembly or the Legislative Council before September 19 in order to continue as ministers.
Adityanath and Maurya are presently members of the Lok Sabha. Adityanath will become the third successive chief minister after Akhilesh Yadav (SP) and Mayawati (BSP) to adopt the Upper House route.