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Turncoats rewarded with candidature for UP Legislative Council polls by BJP

Press Trust of India  |  Lucknow 

Four political turncoats, who had resigned from their membership in the Legislative Council last year to facilitate Chief Yogi Adityanath, his two deputies and two other cabinet colleagues to get the membership of the of the state Legislature, were today named by the BJP as its candidates for the upcoming Legislative Council polls.

In a statement issued here, the party announced the names of 10 candidates for the April 26 polls.

The BJP candidates are -- state ministers and Mohsin Raza, Sarojini Agarwal, Bukkal Nawab, Yashwant Singh, Jaiveer Singh, Vidhyasagar Sonkar, Vijay Bahadur Pathak, and

Kataria, Sonkar and Pathak are general secretaries of the unit, while Dhawan, a former MLC, hails from

Meanwhile, (Sonelal) Arvind Sharma, in an official statement, said, "The of (Sonelal), Ashish Singh Patel, will be the candidate for the 11th seat left by the BJP for the party."

In September last year, Adityanath, his two deputies and two ministers were declared elected unopposed to the state Legislative Council. No other candidate was in the fray for the bypolls to the five seats in the

The chief had filed his nomination for the seat vacated by member Yashwant, while Deputy Chief had filed his papers for the seat held by SP member Bukkal Nawab. Their term was to expire in July, 2022.

Adityanath had taken over as the on March 19 last year. He had to become a within the stipulated six months since assuming office.

Deputy had filed his nomination for the seat vacated by and for the seat vacated by SP member Sarojni Agarwal. Their term was to expire in January, 2021.

Raza, the only Muslim minister in the Adityanath cabinet, had filed his nomination for the seat vacated by member Thakur

Bajpai was recently elected as a member from

Meanwhile, the leaders of the ruling BJP sounded confident of bagging 11 of the 13 seats going to the polls on April 26.

The BJP and its allies enjoy a brute majority of 324 in the 403-member state Assembly. Arithmetically, they are likely to win 11 of the 13 seats comfortably and still be left with some additional votes.

vice-J P S Rathore said to ensure victory, a candidate needed 29 first-preference votes.

The notification for the Legislative Council polls was issued on April 9. The last date for filing of nominations is April 16. The scrutiny of nominations will be done on April 17, while the last date for withdrawal of candidature is April 19.

"We are sure of winning 11 of the 13 Legislative Council seats going to the polls," told

Of the remaining two seats, the SP has given up one to the

The SP, headed by Akhilesh Yadav, had fielded two candidates, but withdrew one of them, paving the way for to contest one seat as a quid pro quo (a favour or advantage granted in return for something) for her support to the SP in the bypolls to the Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats, which halted the saffron party's victory march in the (in Gorakhpur).

In the 2014 polls, the BJP had won the Phulpur seat for the first time.

In the recently-concluded polls, it was a sweet revenge for the BJP as it ensured the victory of all its nine candidates, days after it lost the two crucial seats to the SP.

Besides Arun Jaitley, the others who had made it to the of Parliament from the party were Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, Harnath Singh Yadav, GVL and Anil Kumar Agarwal, who pulled off a surprise win with the help of second-preference votes.

The other candidates, including the SP's Jaya Bachchan, had won on the basis of first-preference votes.

In the 100-member Legislative Council, the BJP has only 13 representatives, the SP 61, the nine, the two, the RLD one and others 12. Two seats are vacant.

SP and MLC said the SP-combine would comfortably win the two Legislative Council seats.

"The SP is contesting from one seat in the Legislative Council polls. Initially, we had decided to contest from two seats, but later we decided to give one seat to the BSP to strengthen our electoral understanding," he added.

According to the (EC), the tenure of 13 MLCs, including SP national and two ministers in the -- and -- will end on May 5.

Of the 13 seats falling vacant, seven were held by the SP, two each by the BJP and the BSP and one by the RLD. The 13th seat, which was held by former SP minister Ambika Chaudhary, fell vacant when he switched over to the BSP.

Apart from the SP chief, six other MLCs from the party, whose terms are coming to an end are its Naresh Chandra Uttam, Rajendra Chaudhary, Umar Ali Khan, Madhu Gupta, and

The MLCs of other parties, whose terms end on May 5, are and (both from the BSP) and Chaudhary Mushtaq, the lone RLD member.

Though the ruling NDA has 324 MLAs in the 403-member state Assembly, it may not get the required strength in the Upper House to get the bills passed, even after winning 11 of the 13 seats.

During the winter session of the last year, the had suffered an embarrassment when it failed to ensure the passage of the Uttar Pradesh Control of Organised Crime (UPCOC) Bill in the Upper House.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, April 15 2018. 22:10 IST