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BJP's Sanjay Seth wins 8th RS seat in UP with help from SP's MLAs

Last updated on: February 28, 2024 01:06 IST

All eight Bharatiya Janata Party candidates emerged victorious in the Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday and the Opposition Samajwadi Party suffered a jolt with one of its three nominees facing defeat due to cross-voting by some of its legislators.

IMAGE: Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath with state deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya and others show victory signs as they pose for a group photo during a felicitation ceremony of all eight BJP candidates who won the Rajya Sabha elections, in Lucknow, February 27, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

"The election results have been declared. All the eight candidates fielded by the BJP have emerged victorious. Two SP candidates -- Jaya Bachchan and Ramji Lal Suman -- have won the elections," a senior election official told PTI.


The third SP candidate, Alok Ranjan, conceded defeat.

The victorious BJP candidates were 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 (Bind), party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, former MLA Sadhna Singh, former Agra mayor Naveen Jain, and industrialist Sanjay Seth.

Seth, a former SP leader, joined the BJP in 2019.

The ruling BJP and the principal opposition SP had the numbers to send seven and three members respectively unopposed to the Rajya Sabha, but the BJP fielded an eighth candidate, setting the stage for a keen contest on one seat.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath congratulated the winning candidates of the BJP.

In a post on 'X' in Hindi, Adityanath said, "Hearty congratulations to all the respected candidates of @BJP4India who won the biennial elections of Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh! There is full confidence that under the leadership of respected Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji, all of you will be helpful in achieving the promise of antyodaya and the resolve of a developed India. Best wishes to all of you for your bright tenure."

Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak also congratulated the winning candidates of the BJP.

In a post on 'X', Maurya said, "Certainly, this spectacular victory is a guarantee of development based on the basic mantra of Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji: Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas."

Pathak said, "This victory is a symbol of the country and the state's unwavering faith in the illustrious Prime Minister's 'Viksit Bharat Modi kee Guarantee'."

Samajwadi Party chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary told PTI that two of the party candidates -- actor-MP Jaya Bachchan and Dalit leader Ramji Lal Suman -- emerged victorious.

"Jaya Bachchan got 41 votes, while Ramji Lal Suman got 40 votes. The third candidate Alok Ranjan lost the polls," he said.

Ranjan, a retired IAS officer, conceded defeat and congratulated the winners.

Asked if he got 19 votes, Ranjan, a former chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh, told PTI, "Yes, this is what I am seeing on news channels.... Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to the national president of the Samajwadi Party (Akhilesh Yadav) who nominated me and the SP voters who had voted for me."

The Congress voted for its INDIA bloc partner Samajwadi Party, while reports suggested that the lone BSP MLA casted his vote in favour of the BJP candidate.

At present, there are 399 members in the 403-member UP legislative assembly with four vacancies.

Out of the 399 MLAs, 395 exercised their voting rights on Tuesday: three of them could not vote as they are in jail, while officials could not confirm the other MLA who did not cast the ballot.

To get elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, a candidate needed nearly 37 first-preference votes.

Amid concerns over cross-voting and SP chief whip Manoj Pandey quitting while polling was underway, party president Akhilesh Yadav warned action would be taken against such MLAs.

"Those who wanted to profit from the situation will go. Those who were given assurances (by the BJP) will go," Yadav told reporters at the assembly before casting his vote.

"The 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 added. "Those who don't have the courage to fight will go. Some might have been afraid for their security, some might have been threatened or promised something."

Talking to reporters earlier in the day, deputy Chief Minister Maurya claimed that Yadav made a mistake by fielding his third candidate and that he did not have the numbers.

SP MLAs Rakesh Pratap Singh, Abhay Singh and Rakesh Pandey, who were among 8 party MLAs to have skipped Yadav's Monday night meeting, arrived in the same vehicle. "We will cast our votes as per our inner voices," Rakesh Pratap Singh said.

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

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

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