Voting for 12 seats of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council began in Lucknow on Thursday amid tight security arrangements.
In all, 13 candidates, seven of ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), three of Samajwadi Party (SP), two from Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and one from Congress are in the fray, officials sources said on Thursday.
Prominent leaders who cast their votes early, include Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his brother and SP state unit chief Shivpal Singh Yadav.
Besides, members, who are currently lodged in jail, also cast their votes. One of them was independent MLA from Rae Bareli Sadar seat Akhilesh Singh, who has been jailed in his constituency and was brought here under tight police security.
BSP MLA Shekhar Tiwari, who is lodged in Auraiya jail in connection with murder of PWD engineer MK Gupta, is also likely to cast his vote. Mukhtar Ansari, another imprisoned member may also vote.
The ruling BSP, which has 217 MLAs, is confident of all its seven candidates sailing through. With 94 MLAs in its kitty, the main opposition party SP can also get all its three candidates elected.
The BJP and the Congress, however, are short of the required numbers and both are relying on the support of Ajit Singh's RLD, which has 10 members, including a rebel MLA Qadir Rana.
While the BJP has 51 members in the House, Congress has only 21 MLAs. The BJP, in fact can loose a vote as Kalyan Singh's daughter-in-law Premlata Singh may not vote in favour of its candidate.