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RS poll: Kanchhal?s fate hangs in balance

Samajwadi Party candidate?s fate for the Rajya Sabha Banwarilal Kanchhal hangs in the balance. With the party leadership planning to allocate names of ?unwavering? MLAs for the victory of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) nominee Mahmood Madni, the SP is likely to fall short of votes to elect its sixth candidate Kanchhal. The SP requires 222 votes to win six seats.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2006 00:37 IST
M Hasan
M Hasan
None

Samajwadi Party candidate’s fate for the Rajya Sabha Banwarilal Kanchhal hangs in the balance. With the party leadership planning to allocate names of ‘unwavering’ MLAs for the victory of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) nominee Mahmood Madni, the SP is likely to fall short of votes to elect its sixth candidate Kanchhal. The SP requires 222 votes to win six seats.

The SP would first prefer to ensure the victory of Janeshwar Mishra, Mahendra Mohan Gupta, Virendra Bhatia, Mahmood Madni (RLD), Virpal Singh and then Kanchhal.

“Since Mahendra Mohan Gupta from the Bania community is on the victory list, the party can afford to lose another Bania (Kanchhal),” said a senior leader.
Senior SP leader and Revenue Minister Ambika Chaudhury may lead a group of 23 SP MLAs to ensure the victory of Madni who has the support of 14 RLD MLAs.
With the 33-member BSP breakaway group, now recognised as the Loktantrik Bahujan Dal (LBD) by the Supreme Court, putting a spoke in the SP’s victory wheel, the success of all six candidates of the SP-RLD alliance appears to be a remote possibility.

In fact, the SP was comfortably placed with its original list of MLAs, including those from the RLD, the BSP breakaway group, 10 from a splinter faction and some Independents, to ensure the victory of all its six candidates. But with massive horse-trading by gangster-turned MLAs for Independent nominee Sudhanshu Mittal, there has been a drastic change in the poll scenario of late. Some of the LBD MLAs are also in contact with BSP president Mayawati to get her third candidate elected.

The BSP breakaway group is also beyond the purview of the recently amended law, forcing the MLAs to go in for ‘open ballot’ in the Rajya Sabha election. The legality and the applicability of this law on these MLAs is being debated in political circles.

While former State Assembly Speaker Keshari Nath Tripathi told the HT on Sunday that the leader of the LBD group in the House could deploy an agent to seek an ‘open vote’ from MLAs, leader of the Teachers’ Group in Vidhan Parishad Om Prakash Sharma said it would not be possible, as the LBD did not have an organisational structure outside the House to take up election responsibility. He said leader of the legislature group could not appoint an agent for this purpose.
“It is the responsibility of the party organisation outside the House,” Sharma commented. The LBD is not a registered party.

RLD MLC and former minister Munna Singh Chauhan also said that legal provisions of the open ballot system would not be applicable on the LBD group. Under the law, there is also no provision for a whip to ensure voting on party lines.

First Published: Mar 27, 2006 00:37 IST