We backed independent in RS polls to expose BJP-BSP tacit understanding: Akhilesh
Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav has said that his party supported independent nominee Prakash Bajaj for the upcoming Rajya Sabha (RS) elections from Uttar Pradesh (UP) to expose what he called a “tacit understanding” between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
“We wanted voting in the RS polls to expose which party is aligning with whom,” he said.
The former CM shared this comment with media persons on Saturday on the sidelines of an event held by the party on the birth anniversary of socialist leader Acharya Narendra Dev.
“Those who are inspired by socialist ideals chose to support the independent candidate for the RS polls in a bid to underscore the fact that BSP is in cahoots with the BJP,” Yadav said.
The SP chief said that the BJP could enter into an electoral understanding with any party of its choice, but such tacit deals needed to be exposed.
Yadav hit out at the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in UP for its alleged failure to nurture the Gomti riverfront development project in Lucknow, which was initiated by his government that was in power between 2012 and 2017.
Similarly, he singled out the lack of expansion of Lucknow Metro, which was also started by his government.
Earlier on October 27, Prakash Bajaj (38), a lawyer, had queered the pitch for the upcoming RS polls, when he had filed nomination papers at the last moment. He was supported by 10 SP lawmakers.
His entry into the electoral fray implied a contest in the RS polls, as there were 11 candidates for 10 vacant seats.
The BJP fielded eight candidates and the SP and the BSP one each.
Bajaj’s entry made BSP candidate Ramji Gautam’s prospects uncertain, as the party did not have the requisite 37 votes to secure an outright win. To make matters worse, seven BSP rebel legislators had met Yadav last week and thrown their lot behind the rival SP.
Clarity emerged and Gautam’s winning chances brightened after the returning officer (RO) rejected Bajaj’s nomination last Thursday.
On the same day, BSP president Mayawati suspended the seven rebel MLAs.
She declared that her party would vote for any other political outfit, including the BJP, to ensure the SP is taught a lesson in the UP Legislative Council elections slated to be held in January.
She also rued her decisions such as forging an alliance with the SP in last year’s parliament elections and withdrawing the 1995 guest house case against Yadav and his father and former UP CM Mulayam Singh Yadav.
RS polls will be held on November 9 and the results will be announced on the same day.