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Rajya Sabha Polls a Test for Opposition Unity in Uttar Pradesh

According to reports, of the 10 seats up for grabs, the ruling BJP is all set to win eight seats while Samajwadi Party is on course to win one seat.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:February 26, 2018, 6:40 PM IST
Rajya Sabha Polls a Test for Opposition Unity in Uttar Pradesh

Lucknow: The race for Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh has begun with major parties jostling to get maximum support with the state Assembly voting on March 23.

According to reports, of the 10 seats up for grabs, the ruling BJP is all set to win eight seats while Samajwadi Party is on course to win one seat.

There is still an open contest for one seat which has become the centre of a prestige battle, sources said.

As per the formula for Rajya Sabha election, the number of vacant seats is increased by one and then divided by the number of MLAs in the state Assembly. The final figure is increased by one and that is taken to be the number of votes required to win a Rajya Sabha seat.

The current number of MLAs in UP assembly is 403; the number of vacant seats is 10. So, as per the formula, one is added to 10 which makes it 11. Now total number of MLAs 403 is further divided by 11 which gives us the figure of 36.63 and further 1 is added to it. So, in UP a Rajya Sabha member is required 37.63, which when rounded gives us the figure of 38. Going by the formula, 38 MLAs votes decide the fate of one Rajya Sabha member.

Going by this, BJP and allies have clear mandate for eight seats with 325 MLAs, while SP is sure of winning one seat with 47 MLAs. The remaining MLAs of SP, along with seven Congress MLAs and 19 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs may field a joint candidate if they want to win this seat.

It still remains to be seen if the major opposition parties like SP, Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress will join hands to defeat the BJP for this seat or not, sources added.

BSP supremo Mayawati does not seem to be interested in contesting for Rajya Sabha. This became evident after statement of Tejaswi Yadav who said that he had called up Mayawati as she was promised one berth from his father Lalu Prasad Yadav. But she turned down the offer, saying that till the time BJP is in power, she was not interested in being a member of Rajya Sabha.

In the recent Assembly by-elections and upcoming Lok Sabha by-elections, BSP had made it clear that it won’t give support to any SP candidate.

Speaking to News18 on the issue, SP spokesperson and MLC, Sunil Singh Sajan, said, “At least one of our candidate is confirmed to go to Rajya Sabha. Speaking of the rest of the seats, our national president Akhilesh Yadav is constantly trying to bring together all the secular forces under one roof.”

“This will also prove fruitful for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. If during Rajya Sabha elections, people of Samajwadi viewpoint come forward then Samajwadi Party will definitely extend support to them,” he added.

On the other hand, the Congress is also waiting for the possibilities. Speaking to News18, UP Congress spokesperson, Dwijendra Tripathi, said, “At present we are having seven seats in UP state Assembly. Obviously we are not in a position to win any Rajya Sabha seat but political possibilities can be looked for. The party high command will decide.”

Senior BSP leader Unmed Singh said, “Our party was ignored by Congress on many occasions, be it Gujarat Assembly elections or Himachal. When we are of zero value to them, we will move according to our own strategy.”​

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