RS polls: UP BJP fields 3 additional nominees to thwart Oppn’s joint candidature strategy | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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RS polls: UP BJP fields 3 additional nominees to thwart Oppn’s joint candidature strategy

There are 13 candidates, including Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and Samajwadi Party member Jaya Bachchan, in the fray now.

lucknow Updated: Mar 13, 2018 15:14 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
With 324 members, the BJP and its allies are sure to win eight seats. This will leave 28 additional votes with the saffron party.
With 324 members, the BJP and its allies are sure to win eight seats. This will leave 28 additional votes with the saffron party.(Mohd Zakir/HT File)

The BJP on Monday fielded three additional candidates for 10 Rajya Sabha seats in the ongoing biennial elections, presumably to gain more time to finalise its strategy before March 15 – the last date for withdrawing nomination papers.

There are 13 candidates, including Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and Samajwadi Party member Jaya Bachchan, in the fray now. Of these, 11 belong to the BJP.

The BJP move throws up a major challenge for the opposition, which had joined hands to support BSP nominee BR Ambedkar in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls. “We have 28 extra votes while the BSP – with fewer votes – has fielded its candidate too. Therefore, we have fielded three extra candidates as part of our strategy,” said state BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey.

A candidate needs 37 votes to emerge victorious in the 402-member state assembly. Under these circumstances, the BJP and its allies (with 324 members) are sure to win eight seats. This will leave 28 additional votes with the saffron party.

The Samajwadi Party, with 47 members, will emerge as the clear winner in one seat and still have 10 votes to spare. The BSP, with 19 members, is banking on support from the Samajwadi Party, Congress (seven), Rashtriya Lok Dal (one) and NISHAD Party (one) to win.

On the other hand, the BJP – which has the support of three independents – will still need six more votes. For this, they may have to bank on cross voting from opposition MLAs. “Considering that we have accorded representation to all sections of the society (in the government), we are confident of getting the support we need in the interests of the state,” said Pandey.

Many BJP leaders familiar with the development said the move to field extra candidates was taken to thwart the opposition’s strategy. The party high command will take a final decision on its candidates later.

BJP candidate Anil Agarwal, however, appeared confident that he will be able to mobilise additional votes as the party’s ninth candidate. “We are sure that many MLAs will vote for us in view of the development work being carried out under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and chief minister Yogi Adityanath,” he said.

Jaitley was the first BJP candidate to file his nomination papers on Monday. He was followed by more candidates, including Anil Kumar Jain, Kanta Kardam, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Harnath Singh Yadav, GVL Narsimha Rao, Anil Agarwal, Salil Bishnoi, Vidya Sagar Sonkar and Sakal Deep Rajbhar.