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Akhilesh's party chief whip resigns amid voting for Rajya Sabha polls

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
February 27, 2024 11:06 IST
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Samajwadi Party MLA Manoj Kumar Pandey on Tuesday resigned from the post of party chief whip a day after he skipped a meeting called by party chief Akhilesh Yadav on the Rajya Sabha elections.

IMAGE: Akhilesh Yadav slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party saying it will adopt all means to win elections. Photograph: @yadavakhilesh/X

Voting was underway in the elections for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday with eight BJP candidates and three from the Samajwadi Party in the fray.

In a letter to Yadav, the SP leader said, "You had appointed me as chief whip of Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh assembly. I am resigning as the chief whip. Kindly accept my resignation."

Pandey is an MLA from Unchahar constituency in Raebareli. He was a cabinet minister in the previous Akhilesh Yadav government.

Speaking to reporters ahead of casting his votes, Yadav slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party saying it will adopt all means to win elections.

Asked about the absence of some party MLAs from a party meeting on the polls called on Monday, Yadav said, "Those who wanted to profit from the situation will go. Those who were promised will go."

"Those who put spikes in someone else' path or dig holes for others themselves fall," Yadav said in a swipe at the BJP.

"You have seen what happened in Chandigarh in front of CCTV cameras. I thank the Supreme Court which saved the Constitution. BJP can adopt all tricks to win elections. It must have given assurance (to some MLAs) of some profit... BJP will do anything to win," he said.


As many as eight SP MLAs did not attend a meeting called by the Yadav on Monday.

A senior SP leader, requesting anonymity, said that the party chief had called a meeting to brief the MLAs about the voting process of the Rajya Sabha elections.

However, Manoj Pandey and seven other MLAs -- Mukesh Verma, Maharaji Prajapati, Pooja Pal, Rakesh Pandey, Vinod Chaturvedi, Rakesh Pratap Singh and Abhay Singh did not attend the meeting.

Speaking to PTI, SP's national spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary had admitted that eight MLAs did not attend the dinner and meeting called by Yadav. However, he did not name the MLAs.

The BJP has fielded eight candidates and the opposition Samajwadi Party three for 10 Rajya Sabha seats for which voting is being held.

The ruling BJP and SP, the principal opposition, have the numbers to send seven and three members, respectively to the Upper House of Parliament but with the BJP fielding Sanjay Seth as its eighth candidate, a keen contest is on the cards for one of the seats.

Seth, an industrialist and former SP leader, joined the BJP in 2019. Any cross-voting from SP leaders could get Seth elected.

The BJP and the SP are the two largest parties in the 403-member state assembly with 252 and 108 MLAs, respectively. The Congress, an alliance partner of the SP, has two seats.

BJP ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) has 13 seats, NISHAD Party has six seats, RLD has nine, SBSP six, Jansatta Dal Loktantrik two and the BSP has one seat. Four seats are currently vacant.

The seven other candidates fielded by the BJP are former Union minister RPN Singh, former MP Chaudhary Tejveer Singh, general secretary of the party's Uttar Pradesh unit Amarpal Maurya, former state minister Sangeeta Balwant, party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, former MLA Sadhna Singh and former Agra mayor Naveen Jain.

The Samajwadi Party has fielded actor-MP Jaya Bachchan, retired IAS officer Alok Ranjan and Dalit leader Ramji Lal Suman.

To get elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, a candidate needs 37 first preference votes, an official said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024