UP MLC elections: Polling for 36 seats tomorrow, BJP eyeing big win
Lucknow, Apr 8: After registering a thumping victory in the assembly elections concluded last month, the BJP will be eyeing to increase its number at the state Legislative Council as the 36 seats will go for polls on Saturday.
Spread across 35 local authorities' constituencies, the biennial poll was earlier scheduled on two dates but now it will be conducted together on April 9. The counting will take place on April 12.
In the 100-member Legislative Council, the BJP has 34 MLCs, the Samajwadi Party 17 and the Bahujan Samaj Party four. The Congress, Apna Dal (Sonelal) and NISHAD party have one member each in the House. The Teachers' group has 2 MLCs, while the Independent group ('Nirdal Samooh') and Independents have 1 MLC each.
As many as 37 seats are vacant at present.
"Of these 36 seats, the BJP has won nine unopposed. If the party wins all the 36 seats, you can assume that it will have a two-third majority in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council and have no problem in taking forward the development schemes expeditiously," Chief Minister Adityanath said to workers last week.
Adityanath, an MLA from Gorakhpur Urban, will cast his vote in Gorakhpur on Saturday at the polling booth in the municipal corporation, official sources said.
The voters in this biennial election are village pradhans, members and chairman of block development councils, members and chairman of Zila panchayat, and corporators in urban areas. MLAs and MPs are also voters in this poll.
The Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party have not fielded any candidate in the legislative council polls, making it a straight fight between the BJP and the Samajwadi Party, the principal opposition in the state Assembly.
Some independent candidates are also in the fray.
Of the 36 BJP candidates, five are former Samajwadi Party leaders, who joined the saffron camp on the eve of the February-March state polls. They are Shailendra Pratap Singh from Sultanpur local authority constituency, C P Chand from the Gorakhpur-Maharajganj local authorities, Ravishankar Singh 'Pappu', the grandson of former prime minister Chandrasekhar, from Ballia local authorities, Rama Niranjan from Jhansi-Jalaun-Lalitpur local authorities and Narendra Bhati from Bulandshahr local authorities.
The Samajwadi Party has declared its candidates for 34 seats, leaving the Meerut-Ghaziabad and Bulandshahr seats for its ally the Rashtriya Lok Dal. Prominent among those who have been fielded are Dr Kafeel Khan from Deoria, Mashkoor Ahmad from Rampur-Bareilly, sitting MLCs Sunil Kumar Sajan, Rajesh Kumar and Udayveer Singh from Lucknow-Unnao, Barabanki, and Mathura-Etah-Mainpuri seats respectively. Adityanath has recently quit the Legislative Council seat after getting elected as an MLA from Gorakhpur Urban seat.
With the death of Leader of the Opposition in the Council Ahmad Hasan on February 19 after a prolonged illness, the Samajwadi Party has named Sanjay Lathar to the post.
In the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the BJP pocked 255 seats with its allies Apna Dal (Sonelal) and NISHAD party winning 12 and six seats, respectively. Whereas the Samajwadi Party won 111 seats while its ally the Rashtriya Lok Dal has won eight.