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UP Rajya Sabha Polls: 5 BSP MLAs Rebel After Meeting Akhilesh Yadav, An 11th Candidate Springs Up Surprise

File photo of Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav.

File photo of Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav.

The eleventh candidate, Varanasi-based lawyer Prakash Bajaj, is said to have the backing of the Samajwadi Party.

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Qazi Faraz Ahmad

Lucknow: The Rajya Sabha polls for 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh took an interesting turn on Tuesday after a mysterious eleventh candidate was found to have filed the nomination as an independent candidate. However, on Wednesday, the entire matter took a new turn with five MLAs of the Bahujan Samaj Party rebelling against the BSP Rajya Sabha candidate Ramji Gautam. These MLAs had allegedly met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday at the party’s new office in Lucknow.

The eleventh and independent candidate, Varanasi-based lawyer Prakash Bajaj, is said to have the backing of the Samajwadi Party. The five BSP MLAs, namely Aslam Chaudhary, Aslam Rainee, Mujtaba Siddiqui, Hakim Lal Bind and Givind Jatav, reached the UP assembly to take back their names as ‘Prastavak’ of the BSP candidate Ramji Gautam. Now the nomination of BSP candidate Ramji Gautam could be in jeopardy as well. Also, there were rumours about some more BSP MLAs voting against the party’s official candidate.

There are currently 11 candidates for 10 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh. If any one candidate does not withdraw his nomination, the voting is certain for the election.

The Election Commission had announced the elections on October 13. The notification for these seats was issued on October 20 and the last date for filing of nominations was October 27. Nomination papers will be examined a day after. The names can be withdrawn by November 2 and voting will be held from 9 am to 4 pm on November 9. The votes will be counted from 5 pm on the same day and the results will be declared.

On the basis of the number of MLAs on eight seats, the victory of BJP appears certain, while SP will easily win one seat. The fight is for the 10th seat, for which the BSP is in the fray. Earlier it was believed that on the basis of the number the BJP could field the ninth candidate but it did not do so. Meanwhile, the BSP will now have to manage the number of MLAs from other parties in the event of voting due to the independent candidate coming into the fray.

Earlier on Tuesday, the candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party collectively filed their nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha elections. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, State President of the party Swatantra Dev Singh, Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma and many other senior officials and state government ministers were present on the occasion.

The same day, all BJP candidates reached the Kushabhau Thakre Hall of the party's state headquarters with their supporters. State President of the party Swatantra Dev Singh and State General Secretary (Organisation) Sunil Bansal congratulated everyone. After this, all the candidates under the leadership of party's state president Swatantra Dev Singh left for the BJP’s legislature party office.

The BJP so far has officially fielded eight candidates, including Hardeep Singh Puri, Arun Singh, Haridwar Dubey, Brijlal, Neeraj Shekhar, Geeta Shakya, BL Verma and Seema Dwivedi. Samajwadi Party has once again fielded Ram Gopal Yadav. The BSP, despite not having required numbers, has fielded Ramji Gautam.


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