BJP-SP battle still on, as UP Legislative Council polls date nears

The BJP-SP fight continues with the same vigour as the state Legislative Council polls are scheduled for April 9.

The Assembly polls are over, but the battle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) continues with the same vigour as the state Legislative Council polls scheduled for April 9 is in the pipeline.

The BJP, with its thumbing win in UP, is looking at an easy cakewalk, while the SP wants to make it look like the party won’t give in anymore. As many as 36 vacant seats will be going to the polls in the 100-member council for the Vidhan Parishad, which is considered the upper House of the state’s legislature. The elections are a biennial affair and the Vidhan Parishad witnesses a third of its members retiring every two years. With the last date for filing of nominations getting over today (March 21), the poll scene has been turning out to be hot.

The current Vidhan Parishad has a BJP majority with 35 MLCs, while the SP has 17. The other remaining seats are occupied by BSP (4), Congress (1), Apna Dal (Sonelal) (1), and the Nishad Party (1) Meanwhile, it also needs to be noted that the Teachers’ group has two MLCs, while the Independent group and Independents have one MLC each.

BJP-SP go into fight mode

The BJP has already launched itself into fighting mode, and has outed the first list of 30 candidates. The second list for the UP legislative council is expected to come later. This time around, the BJP has gone a step ahead and has fielded SP leaders who had switched allegiance with it BJP just before the Assembly elections. Among them, prominent names include C P Chand (Gorakhpur-Maharajganj), Ravishankar Singh ‘Pappu’ (Ballia ), Rama Niranjan (Jhansi-Jalaun-Lalitpur ) and Narendra Bhati (Bulandshahr).

The strategy is clear. The BJP want to make the Vidhan Parishad a BJP majority House. With the Upper and Lower Houses of the State Legislature in its kitty, BJP would have absolute control of the state and would be able to have the final word on all things related to UP.

Prominent faces in candidate list

However, the Samajwadi Party is in no mood to give up. Announcing its first list of 34 seats , the Akhilesh Yadav led outfit has fielded prominent faces such as Dr Kafeel Khan (Deoria), Mashkoor Ahmad (Rampur-Bareilly), Sunil Kumar Sajan (Lucknow-Unnao), Rajesh Kumar (Barabaki) and Udayveer Singh (Mathura-Etah-Mainpuri ). The latter three are sitting MLCs.

Post — Assembly polls, the state Legislative Council elections come as extremely significant for both the parties. How they would now formulate strategies in a bid to win would have to be watched. A full majority is BJP’s aim, while slamming the Assembly polls winner with a major show in the Legislative Council polls is what Akhilesh Yadav would want to do effectively.

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