Mayawati ready to support BJP to defeat Samajwadis in MLC polls

The BSP chief is angered by meeting of seven of her MLAs with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav

BSP chief Mayawati's tough action against her UP MLAs has further eroded the chances of Opposition unity in the state. File Photo: PTI

Angered by seven of her UP MLAs having met the Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, BSP chief Mayawati on Thursday (October 29) said her party will vote for BJP or any party’s candidate in future UP MLC elections, to defeat Samajwadi Party’s second candidate.

“Any party candidate, who’ll be dominant over SP’s second candidate, will get all BSP MLAs’ vote for sure,” she said.

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She announced suspension of Bahujan Samaj Party seven rebel legislators of the party, who had opposed the nomination of its official candidate Ramji Gautam for the elections to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh. The seven MLAs include Chaudhary Aslam Ali, Hakim Lal Bind, Mohammad Mujtaba Siddiqui, Aslam Raini, Sushma Patel, Hargovind Bhargava and Bandana Singh.

The rebels had met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday, triggering speculation that they might leave the party. Four of them had also filed an affidavit, saying their signatures on the nomination of the BSP’s national coordinator and Bihar in-charge Ramji Gautam’s nomination for the Rajya Sabha elections had been “forged”. However, the returning officer accepted Gautam’s nomination as the BSP candidate for the November 9 elections for the 10 Uttar Pradesh seats that are falling vacant.

The biennial elections to these 10 RS seats and one in Uttarakhand are due on Nov 9, a day ahead of the results of Bihar Assembly elections.

Earlier on Monday, the ruling BJP has announced only eight candidates for the Nov 9 polls.

While the SP, till Tuesday, had announced the candidature of Prof Ram Gopal Yadav as its only candidate, BSP chief Mayawati was eyeing the 10th seat for her party candidate Ramji Gautam who has already filed his nomination.

Related news: Mayawati accuses Rajasthan CM of phone tapping, seeks President’s Rule

To get elected to the Upper House of Parliament from UP, each candidate will have to secure at least 37 votes. This way, the SP, with 48 MLAs in the Assembly, has 11 additional votes to spare. However, one of its MLAs, Nitin Agarwal, will pitch in favour of the BJP as his father Naresh Agarwal had joined the saffron brigade in 2018.

The Assembly strength is 395 and eight seats are lying vacant by-elections for which will take place on Nov 3. The BJP has 304 MLAs. The party needs 296 MLAs for its eight candidates to sail through with eight votes to spare.

With nine MLAs of its ally Apna Dal (Sone Lal) and eight spare MLAs of its own, the BJP would have to muster 20 additional votes if it had fielded a candidate for the 10th seat. Moreover, two Congress MLAs — Aditi Singh and Rakesh Singh, two BSP MLAs, Anil Singh and Ram Veer Upadhayay, have been in touch with the BJP for the past many days. In such a scenario BJP would have needed only 16 votes if it had filed its 9th candidate.

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