The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today nominated two Muslim candidates for the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh legislative council polls.
The two candidates are Mohsin Raza and Bukkal Nawab, of which the former is the UP minister of state for minority affairs. Nawab is a Samajwadi Party (SP) turncoat, who had joined BJP last year after resigning from his member of legislative Council (MLC) seat in favour of the saffron party.
BJP announced the names of 10 candidates for the Vidhan Parishad polls to fill 13 vacant seats. On the basis of its strength in UP Vidhan Sabha, the party can elect 11 members to the Upper House. BJP has left one seat for its ally Apna Dal (S), which has nominated its national president Ashish Singh Patel for Parishad.
While, SP can elect one member comfortably, it has committed its additional votes for Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar, who had recently filed his nomination papers for the UP Upper House.
The BJP nominees, include Raza, Nawab, UP minister Mahendra Singh, Sarojini Agarwal, Yashwant Singh, Jaiveer Singh, Vidyasagar Sonkar, Vijay Bahadur Pathak, Ashok Kataria and Ashok Dhawan. Interestingly, the party list includes 4 SP and BSP turncoats, including Nawab, Agarwal, Yashwant Singh, Jaiveer Singh, who had resigned from their Parishad seats last year and joined the ruling party.
Tomorrow is the last day of filing nomination. If only 13 candidates in all file the nomination for as many seats, then there would be no voting and all the candidates would be declared elected unanimously by the Election Commission. The possibilities are that there would be no voting.
SP president Akhilesh Yadav’s tenure as UP MLC is coming to an end next month and since he is unlikely to contest, it would also render him not a member of any house. Sources said he is keen to fight the next Lok Sabha poll from Kannauj, which is currently held by his wife Dimple. The party is likely to nominate its UP president Naresh Uttam for the Vidhan Parishad, while Yadav would invest his energies in fortifying the pre-poll alliance with BSP and preparing for the crucial election next year.
Meanwhile, the BJP central office also declared three candidates for Bihar Upper House poll viz. Sushil Kumar Modi, Mangal Pandey and Sanjay Paswan.
In Vidhan Parishad polls, MLAs cast their vote to elect MLCs. It would take 29 votes to elect an MLC in UP. Currently, BJP and allies have 324 members strength in Vidhan Sabha, followed by SP 46, BSP 18 and Congress 7.
Earlier, it was speculated BJP could field 12 candidates for inducing possible cross voting as was witnessed in the recent Rajya Sabha poll in UP, in which the party had successfully trumped BSP nominee Ambedkar, although SP and Congress had transferred its extra votes in his favour. Later, BSP president Mayawati had remarked Akhilesh had exhibited political immaturity by not giving first preference to the BSP candidate over his party’s candidate leading to cross voting and defeat.