Eight BJP candidates filed their nomination papers on Tuesday for the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh.
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, BJP General Secretary Arun Singh, Haridwar Dubey, Brijlal, Neeraj Shekhar, Gita Shakya, BL Varma and Seema Dwivedi first gathered at the BJP state headquarters here and then later went to the Vidhan Bhawan to submit their nomination papers.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and state BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh were present on the occasion. Only select media persons were allowed to cover the event.
Filing of nominations for the Rajya Sabha elections will close at 3 pm on Tuesday.
Elections will be held for 10 Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and one in Uttarakhand on November 9. The BJP can comfortably win nine Uttar Pradesh seats.
The biennial elections have been necessitated as certain Rajya Sabha members are due to retire on November 25. They are Chandrapal Singh Yadav, Javed Ali, Ravi Prakash Verma, Ram Gopal Yadav (all from Samajwadi Party), Veer Singh and Rajaram (Bahujan Samaj Party), Raj Babbar and PL Punia (both from Congress), and Neeraj Shekhar, Hardeep Singh Puri, and Arun Singh (all from BJP).
Raj Babbar was elected from Uttarakhand whereas the rest represented Uttar Pradesh in the Upper House.
With the announcement of only eight candidates for the upcoming biennial elections to the Raya Sabha, the BJP has left the field open for the unopposed election of the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Ramji Gautam.
A candidate needs 36 votes to win the election and the BJP with an effective strength of 305, can safely get eight members elected. The party will have 17 surplus votes, apart from nine votes of its ally, Apna Dal.
However, the BJP has not fielded the ninth candidate — apparently to allow a smooth passage for the BSP which has only 15 members in the state assembly (after two have turned rebels and one is in jail).
BSP’s Ramji Gautam, the party’s national coordinator and in charge of Rajasthan and Bihar, filed his nomination for Rajya Sabha seat from Uttar Pradesh on Monday. He is confident to win the seat with support from the Congress which has five members and SP which has nine surplus votes.
The BSP is also banking on smaller parties like Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) which has four members.
More than anything else, the party is confident that if there is no extra candidate, all the 10 candidates would be elected unopposed.
The Samajwadi Party has fielded Prof Ram Gopal Yadav and has an effective strength of 45 votes which leaves it with a surplus of nine votes. The party has not yet disclosed what it plans to do with the surplus votes.
Even as the BSP also remains silent on outside support for its candidate, speculations are rife in the corridors of power that a businessman could enter the electoral fray and disturb BSP’s plan.
If the businessman/industrialist enters the fray, he could mop up surplus votes of parties like Samajwadi Party, Congress, Rashtriya Lok Dal and Independents, who would not prefer to vote for the BSP which is increasingly seen supporting the BJP.
Nominations for the Rajya Sabha elections close at 3.p.m on Tuesday.