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Raja Bhaiya announces support for BJP in UP Rajya Sabha polls in big jolt to Akhilesh Yadav

The February 27 Rajya Sabha 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 grab.

Shashwat Bhandari Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: February 26, 2024 20:16 IST
Raghuraj Pratap Singh
Image Source : PTI UP MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh (File photo)

In a big jolt to Samajwadi Party, Jansatta Dal (Loktantrik) chief Raghuraj Pratap Singh aka Raja Bhaiya on Monday announced support for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in UP Rajya Sabha polls.

Jansatta Dal (Loktantrik) has two MLAs in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly including Raja Bhaiya himself.

Raja Bhaiya attended a meeting of NDA legislators at the Lok Bhawan where the MLAs were given directives regarding voting in Tuesday’s polls.

The Samajwadi Party had made efforts to win over Raja Bhaiya’s support and Akhilesh Yadav had even personally sought his support for the SP candidates. The BJP had also reached out to the Jansatta Dal leader.

On the eve of the Rajya Sabha polls, a meeting of NDA was called in Lucknow. The meeting was held under the leadership of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Strategy for the Rajya Sabha election was discussed in the meeting. After the meeting, the CM also hosted a dinner for the NDA MLAs.

Raja Bhaiya also attended the dinner hosted by CM Yogi.

In another development, Samajwadi Party MLC Naresh Uttam has also met Raja Bhaiya.

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.

The ruling BJP and the principal opposition SP have the numbers to send seven and three members respectively unopposed to the Rajya Sabha, but 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.

Voting for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats will be held on Tuesday (February 27) and the results will also be announced the same day.

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. 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.

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