Rajya Sabha Results Not Out, Akhilesh Yadav Says 3rd Seat Bid Was Test

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Rajya Sabha Results Not Out, Akhilesh Yadav Says 3rd Seat Bid Was 'Test'

Akhilesh Yadav fielded three candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections

Lucknow:

Hours after at least five Samajwadi Party (SP) legislators in Uttar Pradesh cross-voted in the election to Rajya Sabha, party chief Akhilesh Yadav said SP’s decision to field a third candidate was actually a “test” and the party’s victory lies in the fact that the rebels were identified.

“Our third seat (bid) was actually a test to identify true companions. It was to know who is with people from the backward classes, Dalits and minority communities and whose inner voice is against them. Now everything is clear. This is our third seat victory,” Mr Yadav said in a post on X. The ‘inner voice’ reference was a swipe at some rebel MLAs who said in the morning that they had listened to their “inner voice”.

Results for the election on 10 Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh are yet to be declared.

The SP suffered a major setback this morning when its chief whip in Uttar Pradesh Assembly, Manoj Kumar Pandey, resigned hours before the election. Mr Pandey and four others were later seen flashing the victory sign with BJP’s candidate RPN Singh and Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak.

Mr Yadav had sensed an impending mutiny last night when eight MLAs skipped a dinner hosted by him. “We knew they would rebel when they skipped the dinner. There was a buzz that different packages have been offered. Those part of the mutiny will be expelled,” he told NDTV after casting his vote in the Assembly this morning. Earlier, he had said BJP can use all tactics to win elections. “Some of our leaders who want personal gains can go to the BJP,” he had said.

The rebellion within SP comes at a tricky time for Mr Yadav. Lok Sabha polls are months away and the party will be contesting on 63 seats out of the 80 in Uttar Pradesh.

For 10 Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, 11 candidates are in the race — 8 from the ruling BJP and 3 from main Opposition SP. The BJP is confident of the victory of all its candidates, especially after it recently secured the support of the Jayant Chaudhary-led Rastriya Lok Dal. “We have the support of Nishad Party, Suhel Dev Samaj Party, Apna Dal, Rashtriya Lok Dal and Jansatta Dal. I am confident all 8 NDA candidates will win,” state BJP president Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary has said.

Earlier, leaders of the BJP had claimed that a section of SP legislators were in touch with them. Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had even said Mr Yadav does not have the numbers to win three seats.

The BJP has 252 seats in Uttar Pradesh Assembly and the SP has 108. The BJP’s eight candidates are former Union Minister RPN Singh, former MP Chaudhary Tejveer Singh, general secretary of BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit Amarpal Maurya, former state minister Sangeeta Balwant (Bind), party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, former MLA Sadhna Singh, former Agra mayor Naveen Jain and Sanjay Seth.

The SP has fielded actor MP Jaya Bachchan, retired IAS officer Alok Ranjan and Ramji Lal Suman. The BJP has adequate numbers to get seven candidates elected, but its move to field an eighth has forced a contest. And cross-voting can eventually help it win.



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