Uttar Pradesh: SP founder member among BJP candidates for RS poll

The Bharatiya Janata Party named seven more party candidates for the Rajya Sabha biennial election from Uttar Pradesh.

lucknow Updated: Mar 12, 2018 14:40 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Samajwadi Party,Bharatiya Janata Party,Uttar Pradesh
In the past, the BJP had mostly opted for non-Yadav OBCs and non-Jatav Dalits.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday named seven more party candidates for the Rajya Sabha biennial election from Uttar Pradesh.

The move comes three days after the party declared union finance minister Arun Jaitley as its nominee from the state for the upper house of Parliament. However just before the nominations on Monday the BJP sprang a surprise by declaring its intent to field its ninth candidate thus queering the pitch for BSP candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar whose party doesn’t have enough votes to ensure his win. It has named Anil Agarwal as its ‘ninth’ candidate though on its own it is capable of ensuring win of 8.

“The Samajwadi Party and the Congress have declared their support to our candidate,” BSP leader Satish Mishra said.

Earlier on Sunday the BJP revealed its Rajya Sabha line up on Sunday that included Ashok Bajpai, a Brahmin who was one of the founder members of the Samajwadi Party.

The others are: GVL Narasimha Rao, the party’s national spokesman belonging to ‘kamma’ upper caste from Andhra Pradesh; Anil Jain, its Delhi-based national general secretary of UP origin; Kanta Kardam (a former Jatav lawmaker from Meerut who lost the mayoral polls); Vijay Pal Singh Tomar (a Thakur leader and former chief of BJP’s farmers’ wing) and two OBCs Harnath Singh Yadav (former MLC) and Sakal Deep Rajbhar. Bajpai had joined the BJP in August last year.

All these eight leaders filed their nominations on Monday.

Political observers see the line-up as a sign of BJP’s aggressive posturing ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls as the party aims to connect with Yadavs and Jatavs – the two OBC and Dalit sub-castes considered staunch supporters of Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. The SP and the BSP joined hands against the BJP in the Sunday’s Gorakhpur and Phulpur by-polls.

In the past, the BJP had mostly opted for non-Yadav OBCs and non-Jatav Dalits.

Fielding Sakal Deep Rajbhar, an OBC leader from Ballia who contested on the BJP ticket in 2002, is being seen as the party’s desire to create its own Rajbhar leadership in eastern UP where Om Prakash Rajbhar, the head of its ally Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), has been hitting out at the BJP.

The BJP left out its already marginalised Kurmi leader Vinay Katiyar, who owed his political rise to the temple movement of the 90s, while former UP BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpai too missed the bus.

Laxmikant Bajpai, who surprisingly lost the 2017 UP polls, was in the race for the Rajya Sabha.

The election for 10 Rajya Sabha seats from UP is scheduled on March 23.

Given the party position in the state assembly, the BJP is in a position to send eight members and the Samajwadi Party one to the Rajya Sabha.

Rajya Sabha members from a state are elected by the MLAs from that state.

Each candidate will require 37 first-preference votes for a win. The BJP and the allies have 324 MLAs, the SP has 44, the BSP 19 and the Congress 7 in the 403-member UP assembly whose effective strength is 402 after the recent death of BJP MLA Lokendra Singh in a road accident.

First Published: Mar 12, 2018 14:39 IST