Lucknow, Jan 21: With barely two days left for Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council elections, the ruling Samajwadi Party on Wednesday made all-out efforts to avoid poaching and organised lunch and dinner meetings to keep its flock of MLAs together.
At a luncheon meeting, SP legislators were asked to remain present during voting on January 23 and ensure victory of all the eight party candidates, party sources said. "Our effort is to ensure that SP votes remain intact," a senior SP leader said.
Though SP with 230 MLAs is expected to have smooth sailing in the seven seats, it has fielded an additional candidate keeping in mind the 13 surplus votes.
The state Assembly has 403 members and first preference votes of 31 MLAs would be needed to ensure victory of one candidate for the Upper House.
With support of 28 Congress MLAs, SP hopes its nominee for the additional seat will emerge victorious. However, leaving nothing to chance, the party is making all-out efforts to avoid any possibility of cross voting by its MLAs.
At the lunch hosted for party legislators, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP National General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav were present. Ramgopal is camping in the state capital to oversee the poll process.