Lucknow, Jan 13: The biennial elections for 12 Legislative Council seats in Uttar Pradesh is likely to become interesting after BJP fielded two candidate on the last of nominations today, leaving 13 candidates in the fray for the January 23 polls.
Lakshman Acharya and Dayashankar Singh of BJP have filed their nominations for the polls. The final picture, however, will emerge on January 16, on the last date of withdrawal of names.
With the state Assembly having 403 members, first preference votes of 31 MLAs would be needed to ensure victory of one candidate for the Upper House.
With 230 MLAs, ruling SP is expected to have a smooth sailing on seven seats. Keeping in mind the 13 surplus votes with it, SP is contesting an additional seat, expecting cross voting to make up for the remaining votes.
BSP with 80 MLAs will easily manage two seats, but with a surplus of 18 votes, it would require support from 13 MLAs from outside to ensure victory of its third candidate. BJP, on the other hand, has 41 MLAs and can ensure victory of only one candidate, leaving a surplus of 10 votes but has now fielded two candidates.
While Congress with 28 MLAs has given support to the SP, RLD having eight members has given support to the BSP. Political observers believe that smaller parties like RLD with eight MLAs, Peace Party (four MLAs), Quami Ekta Dal (2), NCP Apna Dal, Etehad-e-Millat Council and Trinmool Congress (with one MLA each) besides six Independents will play a crucial role in deciding the fate of the 12th candidate in case of voting.
SP has fielded State Health minister Ahmad Hasan, Ramesh Yadav, Ramjatan Rajbhar, Sahab Singh Saini, Ashok Bajpai, Virendra Singh Gurjar, Sarojini Agarwal and Ashu Malik.
Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Dharmveer Ashok and Pradeep are contesting on BSP ticket. Among the 12 retiring members whose term will come to an end on January 30, seven are from BSP, three from SP and two from BJP.