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Decks cleared for Yogi to enter UP legislature and continue as CM

Currently, the chief minister and his two deputies are not members of the state legislature

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Yogi Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during his visit to Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) Hospital in Varanasi (Photo: PTI)

With barely three weeks left for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister to become a member of the state legislature for continuing in CM post, the process of elections to the four vacant UP Vidhan Parishad seats will get underway on Tuesday, August 29.

According to statutes, a member of the council of ministers, including the chief minister, is required to get elected to either of the two houses (Vidhan Sabha or Vidhan Parishad) within six months of assuming office.

Since Adityanath's council of ministers had taken the oath of office on March 19, 2017, the law requires its members to get elected to either of the two houses by September 18 for their eligibility to continue in their posts.

Currently, the chief minister and his two deputies, Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Prasad Maurya, along with two other ministers, Swatantra Dev Singh and Mohsin Raza, are not members of the state legislature.

While Yogi and Maurya are sitting Members of Parliament from the Gorakhpur and Phoolpur (Allahabad) constituencies, respectively, the remaining three are not members of any House. Sharma was the mayor of Lucknow before becoming one of the two deputy chief ministers.

Over the past one month, six UP Members of Legislative Council (MLCs) have resigned from their seats, including Samajwadi Party (SP) members Bukkal Nawab, Yashwant Singh, Sarojini Agarwal, Ashok Bajpai, and Ambika Chaudhary, apart from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLC Thakur Jaivir Singh.

Except for Chaudhary, all these and members have already joined the ruling (BJP). Although Chaudhary had joined before the 2017 UP poll, his Vidhan Parishad membership had continued under affiliation.

Now, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued the polling schedule to fill four of these vacant seats.

The decks are now clear for the election of Yogi and his three ministers and their entry into the state legislature. Later, the chief minister would have to resign as Gorakhpur's MP. Since Adityanath had represented this eastern UP constituency in Parliament for the fifth consecutive time and had become synonymous with the city, which leader rises to take his place would be keenly watched.

Meanwhile, BJP's floor managers and poll strategists now have the tough task of accommodating the remaining one minister as well in the Council before the due date.

One of the possible ways to do this could be to prevail upon one of the 10 sitting nominated members of the upper house (Vidhan Parishad) to resign. The nominated members are eminent personalities in their respective fields like sports, art, culture, education, social service, among others. Their names are recommended by the state government and later approved by the Governor. Mohsin Raza was a former cricketer, while Sharma is an educationist and a social worker.

According to ECI's schedule, the notification for the Vidhan Parishad poll would be issued on August 29 and nominations could be filed by September 5. The scrutiny of papers would take place on the following day, while nominations could be withdrawn by September 8.

The polling would take place on September 15. The counting of votes and announcement of results would occur the same evening. The whole process is to be wrapped up before September 18.

Since enjoys a brute majority in the UP Vidhan Sabha – 325 out of total 403 seats – its candidates' victory is a foregone conclusion.

First Published: Sun, August 27 2017. 17:01 IST