Riding high on the support from Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal, Congress candidate Satish Sharma today filed his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh.
During nomination, Sharma, a former Union Minister, was flanked by SP national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav and RLD state president Ram Asrey Varma, besides senior Congress leaders, including AICC secretary Parvez Hashmi, UPCC president Reeta Bahuguna Joshi and CLP leader Pramod Tiwari.
Sharma filed his nomination papers before the returning office and principal secretary Vidhan Sabha Pradeep Dubey this afternoon. RLD state president Ram Asrey Varma, who is suffering from some infection, had come all the way from the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, where he was undergoing treatment.
Having 21 members of its own in the UP Legislative Assembly, the Congress was 13 short of the required 34 votes. However, with the support the SP, having 19 surplus votes, 10 MLAs of the RLD and four independents, the Congress nominee is most likely to be elected to the Upper House.
SP, which has 87 members in the 403 member Assembly, had already fielded two candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls. "We are grateful to RLD, SP and Independents who have extended support to the Congress candidate to strengthen secular forces in the state," Congress Legislative Party Leader Pramod Tiwari told reporters.
He said that besides RLD MLAs, surplus votes of SP, four independent MLAs have also extended support to Sharma. "Our candidate would get 54 to 55 votes in the election which would be a record," Tiwari claimed.
Meanwhile, SP candidates Mohan Singh and Rashid Masood also filed their nomination papers in the presence of senior party leaders, including Shivpal Singh, state president Akhilesh Yadav, Ahmad Hassan and Ambika Chaudhary.
Of 10 Rajya Sabha members from UP, whose term would expire on July 4, seven are of SP, two of BSP and one from BJP. In addition to these 10 seats, by-election for one is also being held following the demise of SP Rajya Sabha member Janeshwar Mishra. Prominent leaders, whose term expires on July 4 include Jaya Bachchan, Arun Shourie, Bhagwati Singh and Satish Chandra Mishra.