RS biennial polls today. keen contest on cards

  • | Tuesday | 27th February, 2024

The polling for the biennial elections to Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday is likely to witness a keen contest as 11 candidates are in the fray for the 10 seats. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the principal opposition Samajwadi Party have the numbers to send seven and three members respectively unopposed to the Rajya Sabha. The BJP has forced a contest by fielding Sanjay Seth as its eighth candidate. With this, a keen contest is on the cards for one of the seats. Seth, a local real estate developer and former SP leader, joined the BJP in 2019. The BJP and the SP are the two largest parties in the 403-member UP assembly with 252 MLAs and 108 MLAs respectively. The Congress, an alliance partner of the SP, has two MLAs. BJP ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) has 13 MLAs, NISHAD Party six, Rashtriya Lok Dal nine, Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party six, Jansatta Dal Loktantrik two and the Bahujan Samaj Party one. 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 partys Uttar Pradesh unit Amarpal Maurya, former minister  of state Sangeeta Balwant Bind, party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, former MLA Sadhna Singh and former Agra mayor Naveen Jain. The SP 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 nearly 37 first preference votes, an official said. Elaborating about the Rajya Sabha elections, Returning Officer Brijbhushan Dubey said, A candidate will need 36.37 first preference votes to register a win. At present, there are 399 MLAs in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Asked whether the three jailed MLAs will also be able to vote in the Rajya Sabha elections, Dubey said that it would be decided by the court and the political party concerned. SP MLAs Irfan Solanki and Ramakant Yadav and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party legislator Abbas Ansari are in prison. Dubey further said that MLAs would enter from Gate 7, take ballot papers from room number 80 and head to Tilak Hall to cast their votes. Polling will be held from 9 am to 4 pm. Counting will commence from 5 pm and results are likely to be announced on Tuesday night, he added. Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) leader Pallavi Patel, an ally of the Samajwadi Party, had earlier said that she would not vote in the Rajya Sabha polls as she did not agree with the SP decision to field Bachchan and Ranjan. She, however, changed her position saying, I will be voting in the Rajya Sabha elections. That is my right and my duty. But I have not decided yet who will be the candidate. Ramashish Rai, the UP unit chief of RLD, which recently switched over to the National Democratic Alliance fold, said that all the RLD MLAs would vote for the BJP candidates in the Rajya Sabha elections.

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