Lucknow, Jan 11: In a quid pro quo, Congress has decided not to field its candidate in biennial Legislative Council election of Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress' gesture is its 'return gift' to Samajwadi Party for supporting its two candidates - Pramod Tiwari and P L Punia - in getting elected to Rajya Sabha.
"The party has decided not to field its candidate in Council election," chairman of UP Congress Committee communications department Satyadev Tripathi told reporters.
"We have taken support of SP on two Rajya Sabha seats. Besides, we have to stop communal forces from horsetrading," he added.
Tripathi said that SP was capable of winning seven seats on its own, but it has fielded eight candidates. "We do not have required numbers and RLD also is not helping therefore also we have decided to withdraw," he said.
The UPCC leader said that AICC general secretary and UP incharge Madhusudan Mistry had announced that the party will field its own candidate and not support anyone else, but the fresh decision has been taken keeping in view the current situation and the high command has been informed about it.
Congress with 28 MLAs in the Assembly needed outside support of three MLAs to ensure victory of its candidate. With Congress deciding not to field a candidate, all 12 members are likely to be elected unopposed provided BJP do not field two candidates.
SP and BSP have already announced eight and three candidates respectively.
Polling would become imminent if BJP decides to field two candidates. SP with 230 MLAs is expected to have a smooth sailing in seven Council seats.
Keeping in mind its 13 surplus votes, SP is contesting an additional seat and it may bank on the support of the MLAs from Congress side.