A dinner hosted by the Samajwadi Party ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections had BSP supremo Mayawati smiling. The dinner raised her hopes of sending one candidate of the BSP to the Upper House of Parliament. The RS elections will be held on Friday.
UP will vote on Friday to send 10 candidates to the Rajya Sabha. A united SP and presence of Raghuraj Pratap Singh, independent MLA from Kundla at the dinner has provided the much-required re-assurance that Mayawati was looking for.
The BSP has 19 MLAs and to send a candidate to the Upper House, a candidate would need 37 MLA votes. The SP with 47 MLAs can send one of its candidates to the Rajya Sabha. Mayawati would expect that the 10 surplus votes of the SP would go to her party's candidate.
Ajit Singh's party has assured Mayawati of the solitary vote and this would make up for the loss of Nitin Agarwal, the son of Naresh Agarwal who recently quit the SP. Nitin was absent at the dinner and this has made it clear that he would vote for the BJP candidate.
Mayawati has also been assured of the 7 votes of the Congress. This takes her tally up to 36. The vote of Singh becomes the all-important one and his presence at the SP dinner gives the indication that he would be voting for the BSP.
Prior to the dinner, there were murmurs that there could be more SP candidates who may cross-vote. However, the presence of both Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav at the dinner put rumours of cross-voting to rest. In fact, this is their first public appearance in a year after a spat broke out between them.