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Rebels see future in BSP

RAJYA SABHA and Vidhan Parishad elections have set the stage for the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha election. Cross-voting by BJP and SP MLAs in support of the BSP candidate in today?s polls clearly indicated that MLAs consider BSP a safe bet to secure victory in the next Vidhan Sabha election.

india Updated: Mar 29, 2006 01:20 IST

RAJYA SABHA and Vidhan Parishad elections have set the stage for the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha election. Cross-voting by BJP and SP MLAs in support of the BSP candidate in today’s polls clearly indicated that MLAs consider BSP a safe bet to secure victory in the next Vidhan Sabha election.

BSP has 67 MLAs and 5 MLAs of the breakaway group had expressed their support to the party. In the Rajya Sabha election, BSP candidate Balihari Babu polled 40 votes, the second candidate Munkad Ali polled polled 44 votes and the third candidate Satish Chandra Jatav polled 2 votes. The BSP did not allot any vote to its third candidate and he was fielded to maintain pressure on the 33 MLAs of the breakaway group.

The party polled 86 votes in the Rajya Sabha poll. But surprise was in store for the rival political parties when the counting of Vidhan Parishad started. All the three BSP candidates Babu Singh Kushwaha, Jugal Kishore and Sunil Kumar Chittaur were declared elected. The BSP got 98 votes in the Vidhan Parishad poll.

While BSP got 19 extra votes, including votes of the five rebel MLAs, in the Rajya Sabha poll, it polled 31 extra votes in the Vidhan Parishad poll.

While cross-voting, MLAs of the BJP and the SP showed their ballot papers to the election agents in clear defiance of the party whip. Rebel SP MLA Kamlesh Pathak told party leaders that he has caste his vote in favour of BSP candidate Munkad Ali. Several SP MLAs have cross-voted, Pathak said.

BJP MLAs too defied the party whip and voted in favour of the BSP candidate. When the SP election agent directed the MLAs of the breakaway group to show their ballot papers after casting the vote, they objected and refused to oblige him.

Majority of the SP and BJP MLAs defied their party with an eye on BSP ticket.

According to sources, rebel MLAs had met BSP supreme Mayawati at New Delhi and Lucknow and expressed their support to her. Mayawati in turn had assured these MLAs that BSP would give them party tickets in the coming Vidhan Sabha election.