Rajya Sabha elections: Senior Congress leaders to camp in Lucknow to ensure all party MLAs vote for BSP candidate

Lucknow: On the eve of Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh on Friday, the stakes are high and parties are trying to keep their flock together. At least four Congress leaders will remain present in the state capital Lucknow until the elections to ensure polling in favour of BSP nominee Bhimrao Ambedkar.

Senior leaders Pramod Tewari, PL Punia, Sanjay Sinh and Raj Babbar will stay put in Lucknow to assist Congress legislature party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu for the Rajya Sabha polling, Tewari announced on Wednesday.

 Rajya Sabha elections: Senior Congress leaders to camp in Lucknow to ensure all party MLAs vote for BSP candidate

File image of Congress Uttar Pradesh president Raj Babbar. AFP

The Congress, with seven MLAs, has already decided to back the BSP candidate, paving way for the coming together of anti-BJP parties. "We have decided to join hands with the secular forces against the oppressive and communal politics and decided to vote for the BSP candidate," Lallu stated.

Pitted against an aggressive BJP out to foil the unity bid of the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress, especially after electoral reverses in the just-concluded Lok Sabha bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, the Opposition parties are making all-out efforts to ensure that all their MLAs vote in favour of the two candidates fielded by SP and BSP.

The BSP, with 19 MLAs, needs 18 more votes in order to ensure the smooth sailing of its nominee. The Samajwadi Party, which has 47 MLAs, has fielded Jaya Bachchan and will be left with 10 surplus votes.

Together with seven Congress MLAs and one Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) MLA, the BSP will be able to get its candidate elected, though after the recent parting of ways of SP leader Naresh Agarwal and his son Nitin Agarwal, who is also an MLA, the Opposition parties are working overtime to work out the arithmetic.

The Rajya Sabha polls are also being viewed as further test of a possible alliance of anti-BJP parties and could ensure the longevity of their unity.

Tewari also termed as "wrong" the reports in a section of the media that Congress' state unit president Raj Babbar has resigned from the post.

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Updated Date: Mar 22, 2018 11:00:59 IST