Cross voting a high probability in UP Rajya Sabha polls tomorrow

Lucknow, Jun 10 :  With stage set for tomorrow’s polling for 11 Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, for which an extra candidate is in the fray, leaders of all major parties today took stock of their numbers as the possibility of cross voting loomed large.

34 first preference votes are needed for the victory of a candidate.

In the 403-member Assembly, SP has 229 MLAs, BSP 80, BJP 41 and Congress 29. The rest belong to small parties or are Independents who hold the key.

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which has eight MLAs, has promised to transfer its votes to Samajwadi Party and Congress.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has 80 MLAs and with 34 first preference votes needed for the victory of a candidate, the party can easily ensure success of its two nominees with 12 votes to spare.

Mayawati has, however, kept the suspense over which way her 12 surplus MLAs will vote in Rajya Sabha biennial polls, saying the results will show the voting pattern.

“Whom we have supported, whom we have not supported, everything will be clear when the results come out,” she told reporters yesterday when asked which way the 12 MLAs will go.

BSP has fielded Satish Chandra Mishra and Ashok Sidharth.

BJP has fielded Shiv Pratap Shukla whose victory is certain.

The nomination of social worker Preeti Mahapatra, who forced a contest by jumping in the fray as an Independent, was proposed by 16 BJP MLAs, rebel SP MLAs and some members of smaller parties and Independents.

BJP will be left with 7 surplus votes which might go to Mahapatra, who will have to manage a chunk of votes for win.

Ruling Samajwadi Party has fielded seven candidates but its seventh candidate is short of nine first-preference votes.

On the other hand, Congress, which has 29 MLAs, needs five more votes for victory of its candidate and former Union minister Kapil Sibal, who now feels comfortable with RLD’s backing.

Rajya Sabha candidates in the fray are — Amar Singh, Beni Prasad Verma, Kuwar Rewati Raman Singh, Vishambhar Prasad Nishad, Sukhram Singh Yadav, Sanjay Seth and Surendra Nagar (all SP), Satish Chandra Mishra and Ashok Sidharth (both BSP), Kapil Sibal (Cong), Shiv Pratap Shukla (BJP) and Preeti Mahapatra (Ind).

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