To spice up contest, will BJP field eighth candidate? - Hindustan Times
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To spice up contest, will BJP field eighth candidate?

Feb 14, 2024 07:58 PM IST

“There is still a day to go for close of nominations,” a UP minister said with a wink, though he also cautioned against reading too much into the remark.

LUCKNOW: There were speculations on if the BJP could field an eighth candidate to make the RS polls exciting as the party only has numbers to ensure win of seven candidates though in the past the party has fielded additional candidates too. On Wednesday too, the BJP did declare a fresh list of RS candidates for the biennial polls, but that list didn’t contain any name for Uttar Pradesh.

BJP candidate Sudhansu Trivedi files his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha elections, at the UP Assembly, in Lucknow, on Wednesday. (Deepak Gupta Hindustan Times)
BJP candidate Sudhansu Trivedi files his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha elections, at the UP Assembly, in Lucknow, on Wednesday. (Deepak Gupta Hindustan Times)

Of the 10 Rajya Sabha vacancies from UP, the BJP has got seven candidates to file nominations while three SP candidates have filed nominations and based on the respective strength of these parties in assembly where lawmakers vote in these polls, both the BJP and the SP will manage comfortable wins of their candidates. An additional candidate could only make the contest exciting.

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“There is still a day to go for close of nominations,” a UP minister said with a wink, though he also cautioned against reading too much into the remark. “You never know what might happen,” the minister added to keep the suspense going.

The BJP is assured of the support of 8 RLD lawmakers, and one SP lawmaker, Pallavi Patel, has openly declared that she won’t cast her vote in the RS polls.

In 2016, the BJP had forced a contest by backing a woman from Odisha, Preeti Mahapatra, as an independent candidate at the last moment. Although Mahapatra lost, she ended up causing some anxious moments for the Congress.

In 2018, during a similar RS contest in UP, the BJP succeeded in securing the victory of its ninth candidate, even though it only had enough votes to secure direct wins for eight candidates. This was due to the strategy of then BJP chief and current Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, who meticulously calculated even the fractions of second preference votes to the BJP’s advantage.”

The elections to Rajya Sabha are based on proportional representation and single transferable vote, which ensures surplus votes of winners are transferred to the remaining candidates as per their second preference votes.

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