Lucknow, March 10: In a major development, the Congress on Saturday decided to support the BSP candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar for the Rajya Sabha elections scheduled later this month.
A meeting of Congress Legislature Party was held here this morning and after consulting the MLAs, we have decided to vote for the BSP nominee in the election, CLP leader Ajay Singh Lallu said.
"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 said, adding that the central leadership of the party has been apprised of the decision and they have supported it.
The Congress' support comes after BSP chief Mayawati offered a quid pro quo in Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. According to the offer, her party would support the Congress candidate in Rajya Sabha election in MP if all its seven MLAs vote for the BSP's Rajya Sabha candidate in Uttar Pradesh.
The BSP, with 19 MLAs, needs 18 more votes in order to ensure the smooth sail of its nominee, who has already filed his nomination, to the Upper House. The Samajwadi Party, which has 47 MLAs, has already fielded Jaya Bachchan and will be left with 10 surplus votes and together with seven Congress and one of the RLD, BSP will be able to get its candidate elected.
The nomination process for the election on UP's 10 Rajya Sabha seats will close on March 12. The election, if necessary, will be held on March 23.