BJP may offer UP assembly deputy speakers post to a rebel SP MLA

  • | Tuesday | 25th June, 2024

Even as the opposition INDIA bloc has staked its claim for the post of deputy speaker of Lok Sabha, the Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to offer the post of deputy speaker of Uttar Pradesh assembly to one of the rebel MLAs of the Samajwadi Party. The sources said that if the proposal is approved by the BJP central leadership, then Manoj Kumar Pandey is likely to be the choice for the post of deputy speaker of UP assembly. This is being seen as an attempt to counter the move of the opposition SP to file petitions before UP Assembly Speaker Satish Mahana seeking disqualification of the rebel MLAs from the membership of the House.  Eight SP MLAs had voted for the BJP candidates during the Rajya Sabha election in February and later campaigned for the ruling party candidates during the recent Lok Sabha elections. The move to make a rebel SP MLA the deputy speaker of the assembly could be made during the coming monsoon session, sources said. A similar experiment was successful in the Yogi Adityanath government 1.0 when rebel SP MLA Nitin Agarwal was made the deputy speaker of the assembly on October 18, 2021. Presently Nitin Agarwal, a BJP MLA from Hardoi, is a minister of state with independent charge in the Yogi government 2.0. Sources in the SP, however, said party president Akhilesh Yadav had decided to file disqualification petitions against the eight MLAs who cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls, leading to the defeat of an official party candidate. SP is also collecting other evidence against these rebel MLAs, besides cross-voting, to strengthen its case like campaigning for BJP candidates in the Lok Sabha polls. The eight SP MLAs who cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls are Manoj Kumar Pandey, Vinod Chaturvedi, Rakesh Pandey, Abhay Singh, Rakesh Pratap Singh, Pooja Pal and Ashutosh Maurya while Gayatri Prasad Prajapatis wife Maharaji Devi did not participate in the polling. During the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, Manoj Kumar Pandey joined the BJP in presence of union Home Minister Amit Shah in Rae Bareli while Maharaji Devi openly campaigned for Smriti Irani in Amethi. Sources in the SP said the party had decided to pardon Pallavi Patel of Apna Dal (Kamerawadi). She had contested the election on SP symbol from Sirathu in Kaushambi district. She had emerged as a giant killer in the 2022 assembly polls when she defeated sitting BJP candidate and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. She, however, voted for the SP candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls. The party leadership is not keen to seek action against Pallavi for two reasons. First, the alliance with Apna Dal (K) was only for 2022 assembly polls, hence her decision of not supporting the SP candidate in Lok Sabha polls could not be challenged. Second, SP strategists say that pursuing action against Pallavi Patel will not be in sync with the partys PDA (Pichhada, Dalit, Alpsankhyak) plank.

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