The opposition BJP hopes that a chunk of ruling Congress legislators who have revolted against chief minister Harish Rawat may help one of the two party-backed independent candidates win the lone Rajya Sabha seat, for which elections are to be held on June 11.
The reason behind the BJP banking on the support of the rebel Congress MLAs is that it doesn’t have sufficient numbers in the House.
“We, therefore, hope that the ruling party legislators who are unhappy with chief minister owing to his autocratic style of functioning will vote for the Independent candidates backed by us during the election to the Rajya Sabha seat,” state BJP general secretary Khajan Das told HT on Sunday.
The BJP is four MLAs short of the minimum numbers needed to win the Rajya Sabha seat. The lacuna forced it to support the two ‘Independent’ candidates—Anil Goyal and Gita Thakur who hold senior positions in state BJP.
Both the BJP-backed candidates are in the fray as none of them withdrew their nominations. Party insiders said its legislators would, however, vote for one of the two candidates.
Initially, the BJP had announced that it won’t field its candidate for the Upper house of parliament, saying it didn’t have sufficient numbers. Later, it decided to support the one of the Independent MLAs of the PDF, an ally of the Congress government.
The party was forced to drop the idea after the PDF turned down its request at the eleventh hour. The BJP instead decided to extend its support to the two ‘Independent’ candidates for the lone Rajya Sabha seat.