Today was the last day for the filing of nomination for the legislative council poll to fill five vacant seats. Since the opposition is unlikely to contest, Yogi and four others ministers are slated to be elected unopposed.
Yogi apart, others who filed their nominations included deputy CMs Dinesh Sharma
and Keshav Prasad Maurya, apart from two ministers Swatantra Dev Singh and Mohsin Raza. None of these leaders are still members of the state legislature.
A member of the council of ministers is required to get elected to either of the two houses viz. Vidhan Sabha or Vidhan Parishad
within six months of assuming office. Since, Yogi council of ministers had taken oath on March 19, 2017, they were required to become members of the legislature by September 18.
While, Yogi and Maurya are respectively sitting Members of Parliament from Gorakhpur and Phoolpur (Allahabad) constituencies, the remaining three are not members of any house. Sharma was the mayor of Lucknow before becoming a deputy CM.
Over the past few weeks, six UP
Members of Legislative Council (MLCs) had resigned from their seats, necessitating this poll. These included five Samajwadi Party (SP) members viz. Bukkal Nawab, Yashwant Singh, Sarojini Agarwal, Ashok Bajpai and Ambika Chaudhary, apart from a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLC Thakur Jaivir Singh.
These resignations have been credited to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) floor managers to save Yogi and his ministers from the direct poll for Vidhan Sabha, which could have presented an opportunity for the opposition to unite and divert the attention of BJP from its other agendas.
The indirect election would also increase the BJP tally in the Upper House, where SP still enjoys the majority.
Earlier, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had issued the schedule of polling to the Vidhan Parishad
seats. The notification for one of the five seats was issued a couple of days later.
Meanwhile, the scrutiny of papers for four seats would occur on September 6, while nominations could be withdrawn by September 8. Polling, if required, would take place on September 15 and counting of votes the same evening and results announced. The result for one seat would be announced on September 18.
Since BJP has a vast majority in UP
Vidhan Sabha, 325 out of total 403 seats, the victory of all its candidates is a foregone conclusion.
Yogi would also have to resign from his Gorakhpur seat and it would be keenly watched as to who steps in his shoes, since he had represented this constituency in Lok Sabha for the fifth consecutive time.