The Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh was today marred by cross-voting with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator Anil Singh claiming that he voted for the BJP candidates.
Talking to the media after casting his vote, Singh, who met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday night, said he voted for the BJP on "antaratma ki awaaz" (inner call).
“I have voted for BJP, I don't know about the rest,” Anil Singh told reporters after casting his ballot.
"My inside asked me to vote for the BJP," the legislator from Purwa in Unnao added.
His move sent shock waves in the opposition camp, specially the BSP which is counting each vote to get its lone candidate Bhim Rao Ambedkar elected to the Upper House of Parliament.
The BSP MLA, however, said he did not know what his other party legislators were up to.
In a related development, Nitin Agarwal, the Samajwadi Party (SP) legislator from Hardoi, also voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates. His father Naresh Agarwal joined the BJP earlier this month.
Nitin Agarwal told the media that the people would punish the unholy alliance between the SP and the BSP.
"The SP preferred a person who entertains the society (Jaya Bachchan) over a person who serves the society (Naresh Agarwal) which is very unfortunate," he said, predicting that all the nine BJP candidates would win.
Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya also claimed that the BJP candidates would sail through comfortably.
Voting for the 10 seats began at 9 a.m. at the Tilak hall in the Vidhan Sabha building here.
It will conclude at 4 p.m., after which counting will begin at 5 p.m.
Among the first to vote was former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's estranged uncle, Shivpal Singh Yadav who is the SP legislator from Jaswantnagar.
Talking to reporters after casting his vote, Yadav said he was sure that the BSP's candidate would win the Rajya Sabha seat.
Congress legislators have also cast their vote. Leader of the Congress legislature party in the Assembly, Ajay Kumar 'Lallu' said all the conspiracies and dirty tricks of the BJP to wean away MLAs from other parties will fail miserably.
The Congress's seven legislators have pledged support to the BSP candidate.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was also in the Vidhan Sabha premises along with many of his ministerial colleagues. The BJP has fielded nine candidates while the SP and BSP have named one each.
With PTI Inputs