In a blow to Mayawati, five legislators of Bahujan Samaj Party have withdrawn their support to the BSP’s official candidate, Ramji Gautam, for the Rajya Sabha biennial elections. The five legislators informed the returning officers that their signatures as proposers for Gautam were forged.
Immediately after informing the returning officer, the five legislators — Aslam Chaudhary, Aslam Raini, Muztaba Siddiqui, Hakam Lal Bind and Govind Jatav — went straight to the Samajwadi Party office to meet Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav. Meanwhile, reports say that one more BSP MLA, Sushma Patel, has sided with the rebel camp.
This is the first time that the BSP has faced such a major setback, and that too, from her 2019 ally, the Samajwadi Party.
The dramatic development that rocked political equations on Wednesday is bound to cast its shadow on the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
On Tuesday, an Independent candidate, Prakash Bajaj, supported by Samajwadi Party, had filed his nomination papers, giving a clear indication of the events of Wednesday.
BSP MLA Uma Shankar Singh has alleged that the five legislators who had rebelled against the party were being given ‘benefits’ of a money-bag and to stop Dalit leader Ramji Gautam, from going to Rajya Sabha.
Though the BSP lacks the required numbers to secure victory, it named Ramji Gautam as its candidate for the November 9 Rajya Sabha by-election. Gautam is also the BSP’s national coordinator.
The by-election to 10 Rajya Sabha seats will take place on November 9. There are 395 MLAs currently and it is necessary to secure votes of around 37 members to win a Rajya Sabha seat from UP.
The ruling BJP, having 304 members in the Uttar Pradesh assembly, is set to win eight to nine seats, and the main opposition Samajwadi Party with 48 MLAs will easily secure only one seat. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has 18 MLAs.
(With inputs from IANS)