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Rajya Sabha Elections: Close Fight Between BJP, BSP As Parties Depend on Cross Voting to Clinch UP Seat

A candidate needs the votes of 37 MLAs to go to the Upper House. With 311 MLAs in the UP Assembly, the BJP is assured of eight out of 10 seats.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:March 23, 2018, 9:25 AM IST
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Rajya Sabha Elections: Close Fight Between BJP, BSP As Parties Depend on Cross Voting to Clinch UP Seat
The contest will be between the BJP and the BSP for the last remaining seat. (Representative image: Network18 Creatives)
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Lucknow: With two jailed MLAs being barred from casting their votes in the Rajya Sabha elections on Friday, the battle for 10 Uttar Pradesh seats gets even more exciting as BJP and BSP will now have to rely on cross voting.

A day earlier, the Allahabad High Court barred jailed Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator Mukhtar Ansari and SP’s Hari Om Yadav from voting. In such a scenario, where neither BJP nor BSP camp is getting the required number of votes, both the camps will be depending on cross voting of MLAs.

It will be interesting to see which MLA goes for cross voting on the floor as the legislators will be required to confirm their vote to the appointed observers by their parties, giving them less scope of voting for the opposite camp.

After Special Judge SC/ST gave permission to Ansari to vote in Rajya Sabha polls on March 20, the UP state government challenged the order in Allahabad High Court. Hearing the matter on Thursday, single bench of Justice Rajul Bhargava barred Ansari from voting in Rajya Sabha polls. Also, SP MLA Hari Om Yadav, who is in Firozabad jail, was barred from voting. The order comes as a jolt to Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party at a time when each and every vote matters.

Till now, the Samajwadi Party has 47 MLAs, so it can comfortably win one seat, while sparing 10 MLAs to vote. Nitin Agrawal, son of former SP leader Naresh Agrawal who joined BJP, however, will vote for the saffron party. The contest will be between the BJP and the BSP for the last remaining seat.

Mayawati’s party had 19 MLAs and with SP’s support, she will get 28 votes. Ajit Singh's party has offered to back her with its one vote to make up for the loss of Nitin Agrawal. She has also been promised by the Congress that its seven MLAs would vote for the BSP candidate, taking the tally to 36.

With Independent MLA from Kunda, Raghuraj Pratap Singh, alias Raja Bhaiyya, likely to support the SP-BSP, Mayawati's candidate has an advantage. However, after two MLAs, one from SP and one from BSP being barred from taking part in the voting, the contest is now all set for a photo finish.

A candidate needs the votes of 37 MLAs to go to the Upper House. With 311 MLAs in the UP Assembly, the BJP is assured of eight out of 10 seats. It has fielded a ninth candidate too, for which it has at least 28 votes. But with declared support of Nitin Agarwal (SP) and Vijay Mishra (Nishad Party) the tally for BJP reaches 30 votes, still making it short of 7 votes.

One more Independent MLA Amanmani Tripathi, who attended BJP’s meeting on the eve of Rajya Sabha polls, also votes for the saffron camp, the BJP candidate would still fall short of 6 votes.

The fate of 10 Rajya Sabha members will be decided through voting by MLAs in the Tilak Hall of the UP state assembly. The voting will start from 9am and will continue till 4pm, after which the counting process will start at 5pm and the results will be announced as soon as the counting of votes is completed.
| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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