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Rajya Sabha elections: Akhilesh Yadav's party chief whip Manoj Pandey resigns amid voting for 10 seats

Uttar Pradesh witnessed 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.

Raju Kumar Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Lucknow Updated on: February 27, 2024 11:17 IST
Akhilesh Yadav' and Manoj Pandey
Image Source : X Akhilesh Yadav' and Manoj Pandey

Samajwadi Party's chief whip Manoj Pandey resigned amid voting in Uttar Pradesh for 10 seats on Tuesday. His resignation comes amid a strong buzz over cross-voting during the polling. A sudden change of heart happened after a call was arranged between Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Pandey.

Pandey was offered several posts: Sources

Now, Pandey is likely to join BJP, said the sources, adding his resignation from the post of MLA is also possible. The BJP may make him a candidate from Rae Bareli or induct him into Yogi Cabinet, they added. The sources said there is also a chance that the ruling party could make him Deputy Speaker. 

Meanwhile, on the instructions of Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav, the nameplate of chief whip Manoj Pandey was removed from the Legislative Assembly.

Meanwhile, the voting was underway in the state with eight BJP candidates and three from the Samajwadi Party in the fray.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath, Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav were among the prominent faces who arrived at the state Assembly to cast their votes.

Talking to reporters, Maurya claimed that Akhilesh Yadav made a mistake by fielding his third candidate and he does not the numbers.

"SP has become 'Samaptwadi Party' and all the eight candidates of the BJP will win," Maurya added.

Pathak too asserted that all BJP candidates were going to win.

BJP's eighth candidate triggers cross-voting speculations

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 its eighth candidate, a keen contest is on the cards in one of the seats. 

The results will be announced by the end of the day, Returning Officer Brijbhushan Dubey said earlier.

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) has 13 seats, the NISHAD Party has six seats, RLD has nine seats, SBSP six, Jansatta Dal Loktantrik two and the BSP has one seat. Four seats are currently vacant.

Rajya Sabha candidates in Uttar Pradesh

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.

The Samajwadi Party 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.

"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," Dubey had earlier said.

Also read: Akhilesh casts vote amid cross-voting buzz in UP, Congress faces tough test

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