Biennial elections at a crucial time
THE MUCH-AWAITED biennial election to 10 Rajya Sabha and 13 Vidhan Parishad seats will not have come at a more opportune time for 40 Bahujan Samaj Party rebels as they have come now when a question mark hangs over their party affiliation in the Vidhan Sabha.india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 00:57 IST
THE MUCH-AWAITED biennial election to 10 Rajya Sabha and 13 Vidhan Parishad seats will not have come at a more opportune time for 40 Bahujan Samaj Party rebels as they have come now when a question mark hangs over their party affiliation in the Vidhan Sabha.
With less than a week left for commencement of the process of filing of nominations, major political parties have stepped up preparations to secure maximum in the election that has only the MLAs as voters. If possible, major political parties will make efforts to get over and above their quota of seats by winning over the floating votes in the Vidhan Sabha.
Under such a situation independent MLAs usually play a crucial role. A fluid political situation this time also brings the role of the group of 40 BSP MLAs into focus. If past precedents about the role of behind-the-scene lobbying were viewed in the backdrop of the prevailing political situation their role would become more significant.
As per the programme announced by the Election Commission, nominations will commence on March 10. Polling will take place on March 28, 2006 and results will be expected by the same evening. A minimum of 36 votes will be needed to win each of the 10 Rajya Sabha seats while 32 votes will be needed to win each of the Vidhan Parishad seats.
A close scrutiny of party position in the Vidhan Sabha indicates that the Samajwadi Party will be maximum gainer while the Bharatiya Janata Party will be major loser in the election. Yet the BSP breakaway group MLAs have a crucial role to play this time in view of the prevailing situation.
The Samajwadi Party has 194 members in the Vidhan Sabha. On the basis of support base (including the breakaway BSP group) the party can easily get six Rajya Sabha and seven Vidhan Parishad seats. This includes share of the Rashtriya Lok Dal that will also like to secure at least one seat in both the Houses. And proposed induction of Dr Merajuddin in the ministry gives clear indication that he will be the RLD’s candidate for one of the Vidhan Parishad seats.
According to senior BJP and leader of the Opposition Lalji Tandon the issue will be discussed with senior party leaders on Monday. Tandon said the party would field three candidates each in the Rajya Sabha and the Vidhan Parishad elections. Efforts would be made to ensure the victory of party candidates, he said.
Significantly, however, the Bahujan Samaj Party is playing its cards close to its chest and would like to make deep inroads into the BSP breakaway group to get the deficit votes to ensure victory on two Rajya Sabha seats. The BSP already has quota to win two Vidhan Parishad seats. Will it make a bid to any third seat on the basis of rebel group’s strength is another question that will find its answer in days to come.
The Congress with 16 members does not have sufficient quota to get its candidate elected either to the Rajya Sabha or to Vidhan Parishad. According to senior party leaders the party will make a bid to get at least one seat in both the Houses.