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Jayant Chaudhary's RLD to vote for BJP in Rajya Sabha polls in big relief for Sanjay Seth

The polling will be held for 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh, four in Karnataka and one seat in Himachal Pradesh from 9 am to 4 pm and counting will be held on the same day from 5 pm onwards. 11 candidates for 10 seats made the contest interesting in UP.

Raju Kumar Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Lucknow Updated on: February 26, 2024 13:10 IST
RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary
Image Source : PTI/FILE RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary

The last leg of preparation for the Rajya Sabha election was underway in Uttar Pradesh which will see 11 candidates vying for 10 seats on Tuesday (February 27). UP MLAs of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) were trained at Lok Bhavan in Lucknow for voting in the Rajya Sabha elections on Monday. MLAs from Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Nishad Party and Apna Dal along with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were present at the training session. The Jayant Chaudhary-led RLD that recently joined the NDA said its MLAs will vote for the BJP candidate giving relief to Sanjay Seth, the 8th candidate of the ruling party.

The elections in Uttar Pradesh will witness a high-pitched electoral battle ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, with the BJP fielding eight candidates and the opposition Samajwadi Party three for the 10 seats up for grabs.

The outcome of the polls to the Rajya Sabha is likely to have an impact in the politically crucial state just ahead of the General Elections in the country.

BJP's Sanjay Seth makes poll interesting

The ruling BJP and the principal opposition SP have the numbers to send seven and three members respectively unopposed to the Rajya Sabha. Still, with the BJP fielding Sanjay Seth as its eighth candidate, a keen contest is on the cards in one of the seats.

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

What number game suggest?

The BJP and the SP are the two largest parties in the 403-member state Assembly with 252 MLAs and 108 MLAs respectively. The Congress, an alliance partner of the SP, has two seats. The BJP ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) 13, NISHAD Party six, RLD nine, SBSP six, Jansatta Dal Loktantrik two and the BSP one. Four seats are currently vacant.

To get elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, a candidate needs nearly 37 first preference votes, an official said.

Elaborating further 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 the court and the political party concerned would decide it.

BJP candidates for Rajya Sabha in UP

The seven other candidates fielded by the BJP are former 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 and former Agra mayor Naveen Jain.

SP candidates for Rajya Sabha in UP

The SP has fielded actor-MP Jaya Bachchan, retired IAS officer Alok Ranjan and Dalit leader Ramji Lal Suman.

SP MLAs Irfan Solanki and Ramakant Yadav and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) legislator Abbas Ansari are in prison.

Dubey further said that MLAs will enter from gate 7, take ballot papers from room 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.

Exuding confidence in the BJP's performance in the Rajya Sabha elections, Maurya said, "All BJP candidates will register a win in the Rajya Sabha elections."

Chief whip of the Samajwadi Party in the Assembly Manoj Pandey said all SP MLAs will be voting for the party's candidates in the Rajya Sabha election.

Asked if one of the SP candidates may eventually fall short by one vote, Pandey said, "How will we fall short? Our people had contested (the 2022 UP Assembly elections) from the SBSP and the Rashtriya Lok Dal. And, basically, they are from the SP."

Although Pandey exuded confidence that MLAs of the SBSP and the RLD will vote for the SP candidates, both parties have joined the BJP-led NDA.

Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) leader Pallavi Patel, an ally of the Samajwadi Party, had earlier said she would not vote in the Rajya Sabha polls as she did not agree with the SP decision to field Bachchan and Ranjan.

Also read: GK Vasan's Tamil Maanila Congress to contest Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu with BJP, leaves AIADMK

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