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Rebels give SP the wake-up call

THE RESULTS of biennial elections for the Rajya Sabha and the Vidhan Parishad have served as a wake-up call for the ruling Samajwadi Party. Though the party, in alliance with the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), succeeded in winning all six Rajya Sabha and seven Vidhan Parishad seats, revolt by some MLAs has caused consternation in the party.

india Updated: Mar 30, 2006 01:05 IST
M Hasan
M Hasan
None

THE RESULTS of biennial elections for the Rajya Sabha and the Vidhan Parishad have served as a wake-up call for the ruling Samajwadi Party. Though the party, in alliance with the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), succeeded in winning all six Rajya Sabha and seven Vidhan Parishad seats, revolt by some MLAs has caused consternation in the party.

The BSP, which has been a major victim of defection all these years, has the turned table on the SP and the BJP. Five SP MLAs openly voted in favour of BSP candidates. In fact, the open ballot system in the Rajya Sabha prevented more SP MLAs from going the BSP way.

In the Vidhan Parishad, the BSP succeeded in getting 31 more votes against its strength of 67 MLAs. At a time when the party has been desperately trying to ward off prevailing anti-incumbency factor, the rebellion within has raised alarm bells in the party.

Thus, despite victory of all its candidates in the Rajya Sabha and the Vidhan Parishad, cross voting has left chinks in party that could prove politically disastrous. “The rebels have shown the way,” commented a senior party leader.
“With all the five MLAs going to the BSP, they have demonstrated the rising graph of the Dalit outfit,” he added. Such a trend in the election year is no doubt distressing for the party. Of the nine BJP cross-votes, seven went in favour of the BSP.

The party was so scary of its MLAs that the party general secretary Shivpal Singh Yadav, who was the polling agent, checked allotted votes of all the members. Even then Banwarilal Kanchal, though elected, could get 32 votes, Virendra Bhatia and Mahendra Mohan Gupta 36 votes each. The SP, which has been claiming support of 236 MLAs on the floor of the House could get 203 votes for its Vidhan Parishad candidates.

Thus, 31 votes going to the BSP from the ruling combination included members of the Loktantrik Bahujan Dal, the SP and few Independents.

Sources said the party has launched a drive to identify “black sheep” so that corrective measures could be taken. The biennial elections have given amply indication that party needed surgical operation to contain dissension and control rebellion before it gets too late.

First Published: Mar 30, 2006 01:05 IST