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BJP fields 8th RS candidate in UP, targets SP's votes

February 15, 2024 20:24 IST

An eighth BJP candidate on Thursday filed his nomination for the Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, setting the stage for a contest with the Samajwadi Party on February 27.

IMAGE: Sanjay Seth files his nomination as the BJP's 8th Rajya Sabha candidate from Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, February 15, 2024. Photograph: Courtesy, Mpsanjayseth/X

Sanjay Seth, a local industrialist and former SP leader who joined the BJP in 2019, filed his nomination in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, state party president Bhupendra Chaudhary and other senior leaders.

Elections will be held for 10 Rajya Sabha seats in UP. Seven BJP candidates filed their nominations on Wednesday. The SP has fielded three candidates who filed their nominations on Tuesday.


With the BJP fielding its eighth candidate, a keen contest is on the cards in one of the seats.

Thursday was the last date for filing nominations for the Rajya Sabha elections. Voting will take place on February 27 and the results will be declared the same day.

Expressing confidence over the victory of the party's eighth candidate, Chaudhary told reporters, "We have over two-thirds majority in Vidhan Sabha. Many people are influenced by the work done under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath."

Seth said, "We are with the progress being achieved under Prime Minister Narendra Modi."

In the 403-member UP assembly, the BJP has 252 members, the SP 108 and the Congress has two members. The SP and the Congress are the opposition parties in the state and are also partners in the INDIA bloc.

BJP ally Apna Dal-Sonelal has 13 members in the House while Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Apna Dal (NISHAD) Party has six members.

There are nine members of Jayant Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), six members of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), two members of Jansatta Dal Loktantrik and one member of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

Four seats in the state assembly are currently vacant.

To get elected to the Rajya Sabha from UP, a candidate needs votes of 37 House members. With eight candidates, the BJP needs 296 votes, of which it has 252.

With the votes of its alliance partners - 13 of Apna Dal-Sonelal, six of NISHAD party and six members of SBSP - the total number adds up to 277.

The number falls short by 19 votes for reaching the required 296 mark.

Two votes from the Jansatta Dal Loktantrik members and nine from their recent ally RLD will likely reduce the gap to eight votes.

The BJP will have to rely on cross voting by at least eight members from the opposition flanks.

Also, SBSP MLA Abbas Ansari and SP MLA Irfan Solanki are in jail in separate cases. The SP has 108 MLAs, the Congress has two while the BSP has one MLA.

The SP will need the votes of 111 MLAs to win three Rajya Sabha seats. If all the SP MLAs including Irfan Solanki vote in favour of the party candidates and they also get support of two Congress MLAs and the lone BSP MLA, the third SP candidate will win the election.

But there are doubts about Irfan Solanki coming out from jail to cast his vote.

Moreover, Apna Dal-Kamerawadi leader and SP MLA Pallavi Patel has already expressed her displeasure over the SP giving tickets to former IAS officer Alok Ranjan and actress Jaya Bachchan for the Rajya Sabha elections.

"We (SP) talk about PDA [Pichha (backward), Dalit and Alpsankhyak (minorities)]. (But) Alok Ranjan and Jaya Bachchan do not belong to PDA. I am not going to vote for this fraud (PDA)."

In such a situation, there are doubts over SP getting two of its own votes. Moreover, the chances of the SP getting the vote of the lone BSP MLA are also considered to be negligible. If this happens, then SP will get 28 or 29 votes for the third seat.

Meanwhile, the BJP leaders claimed the victory of all its candidates in the Rajya Sabha polls.

"SP means safa (clear) in polls," said Deputy Chief Minister K P Maurya following the nominations. 

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