Rajya Sabha elections on March 23 as BJP fields 3 more candidates
Lucknow: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has introduced a twist in the Rajya Sabha elections by fielding three new candidates for the 10 seats of the Upper House of the Parliament in Uttar Pradesh.
BJP has now fielded a total of 11 (8+3) candidates for 10 seats while Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have also nominated one candidate each, which means that polling will have to be carried out to elect the 10 Rajya Sabha members.
BJP's newly nominated candidates are Anil Agarwal (educationist and industrialist of Ghaziaabad), Vidya Sagar Sonkar and Salil Vishnoi (of the party cadre). It is worth mentioning that Vidya Sagaar and Vishnoi are most likely to withdraw their nominations on March 15 opening way for Anil Agarwal to contest for the ninth seat.
BJP has 28 extra votes and needs 37 to get its ninth candidate cruise through. It is already learnt to have won over three independents in the state assembly leaving it with just a few more votes needed for its 9th candidate.
On the other hand, BSP, which has 19 MLAs, requires another eight votes along with the 10 Samajwadi Party legislators, to get its only candidate into the Rajya Sabha.
BJP strategists are eyeing disgruntled elements in Samajwadi Party and BSP along with the Congress in order to facilitate its ninth candidate to win.
Interestingly, former Rajya Sabha member from Samajwadi Party Naresh Agarwal, who shifted loyalties to BJP earlier in the day on Monday, has openly declared that his son Nitin Agarwal will cross-vote in favour of BJP. Nitin is still a Samajwadi Party MLA.
BSP has named former legislator Bhim Rao Ambedkar for the Rajya Sabha seat while the SP has nominated actress-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan for the fourth time.
BJP had earlier fielded Arun Jaitley, Dr. Ashok Vajpayee, Sakaldeep Rajbhar, Dr. Anil Jain, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Kanta Kardam Jatav, GVL Narsimharao and Harinath Singh Yadav.
The polling will take place on March 23 and the results will be announced on the same date.