RS, Parishad polls: Another round of muscle flexing now
NOTWITHSTANDING THE persisting political uncertainty in the backdrop of speculations of an early Vidhan Sabha election, the Samajwadi Party-led coalition is bracing itself up for yet another round of muscle flexing to win maximum out of 10 Rajya Sabha and 12 Vidhan Parishad seats going to fall vacant on April 2 and May 5, 2006 respectively.india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 01:10 IST
NOTWITHSTANDING THE persisting political uncertainty in the backdrop of speculations of an early Vidhan Sabha election, the Samajwadi Party-led coalition is bracing itself up for yet another round of muscle flexing to win maximum out of 10 Rajya Sabha and 12 Vidhan Parishad seats going to fall vacant on April 2 and May 5, 2006 respectively.
As prevailing political equations favour the ruling coalition the biennial poll exercise is going to be advantage Samajwadi Party with the Rashtriya Lok Dal set to extract its pound of flesh. The Bharatiya Janata Party is bound to be a loser in terms of number of seats while the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress may have to garner more votes and rejig their strategy to improve or regain their seats in the biennial polls.
If prevailing strength of various political parties in the Vidhan Sabha are taken into account a candidate will need 36 votes to get elected to the Rajya Sabha while for a Vidhan Parishad seat 32 votes will be needed. As per statistics the strength of the Samajwadi Party is 194 while its allies the RLD has 15 and the Uttar Pradesh Loktantrik Congress has two members. The Bahujan Samaj Party has 67 members while the Congress has only 16 members.
Under such circumstances the ruling coalition has advantage of having support of most of Independents, unattached members along with the support of smaller parties like the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the CPM and the one-member Akhil Bharatiya Congress. If past precedents give any indication major political parties may reach a tacit understanding and make adjustment of votes to ensure victory of the candidates supported by them.
Rajya Sabha members whose term is going to end include Ghanshyam Chandra Kharvar (expelled from the BSP), Janeshwar Mishra (SP), Dara Singh Chauhan (SP), Balbir Kumar Punj (BJP), Kalraj Mishra (BJP), Ramnath Kovind (BJP), Prof. Ram Bux Singh Verma (BJP), Sachidanand Hari Sakshiji Maharaj (unattached SP), Rajiv Shukla (Congress) and MM Agarwal (Independent). Vidhan Parishad members whose term is going to end include Kashinath Yadav (SP), Kunwar Manvendra Singh (BJP), Khwaja Halim (SP), Jai Prakash Jaiswal (Ind.), Dharamvir Singh Ashok (BSP), Prof. Babulal Balwant Bind (BJP), Babu Singh Kushwaha (BSP), Bharat Singh Yadav (Ind.), Ram Chandra Balmiki (BJP), Dr Ramapati Ram Tripathi (BJP), Dr Ram Sharan Das Gujjar (SP) and Siraj Mehandi (Congress).
As the list of seats falling vacant includes some important names there are indications that Independents and extra votes of major political parties will play crucial role. Though major political parties assert that so far there have been no formal discussions to work out strategy for the biennial polls there are indications that a hectic lobbying is going on behind the scenes.
Asked to comment, senior BJP leader and the leader of the opposition Lalji Tandon said that party leaders were currently busy with the Nyay Yatra. Senior party leaders would meet after the yatra to discuss the issue, he said. Replying to a question, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Pramod Tiwari said the issue would be discussed at appropriate level in the party, though a final decision would be taken by the party organisation and would certainly field its candidates.