LUCKNOW: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, who has always pegged her narrative against nepotism and dynast politics, seems to have changed her stance. She is allegedly using every trick up her sleeves to send her younger brother and party vice-president Anand Kumar to Rajya Sabha from UP in the upcoming elections to 58 seats on March 23.
According to sources, clinching a barter deal with Samajwadi Party (SP) by supporting its Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypoll candidates in lieu of SP support to her candidate in RS polls is a step taken to ensure Anand Kumar’s membership in upper house
BSP vice–president Anand Kumar trashed the reports of his RS candidature as mere rumours. He accused media channels of airing such speculations to malign his sister’s image who has always opposed nepotism vociferously in politics and also to increase their TRP.
However, notably, Mayawati’s decision to back SP bypoll candidates has triggered a change in political equations of UP with the emergence of new permutations and combinations. Moreover, after BSP, Chaudhary Ajit Singh-led Rashriya Lok Dal (RLD) has also extended support to SP candidates. RLD has only one MLA in 403-member UP Assembly.
While the political wrangling for 10 seats of Rajya Sabha from the state going to biennial polls on March 23 gains momentum, Mayawati seems to have worked on a well thought out gameplan before backing SP candidates. As per the highly placed sources, Mayawati had quit her RS membership in July last year as part of this gameplan as she wants to introduce Anand Kumar in mainstream politics by getting him elected to Rajya Sabha. As it was an impossible task for her as she has only 19 MLAs in UP Assembly.
The members of Legislative Assembly make the electoral college for Rajya Sabha election. UP has a 403-member strong house and 10 of 58 seats up for RS polls have to be filled from UP.
As per the electoral college in the state assembly, 37 votes are required for the victory of one candidate. Therefore, the ruling BJP and allies, with 325 members, can easily win eight seats. The SP, with 47 MLAs, is assured of one seat, leaving the 10th seat wide open. Mayawati is vying for the 10th seat with the support of the remaining votes of Samajwadis and Congress’s seven and a lone vote of RLD
However, it would be interesting to see if Congress would come on board to back BSP candidate in RS election as the party is set to suffer the most in the wake of SP-BSP deal in LS bypolls. .
Meanwhile, addressing six back-to-back poll rallies in his stronghold Gorakhpur on Monday, CM Yogi Adityanath took a jibe at BSP and SP calling their alliance as the one between the predator and prey.
“I feel pitty on these parties. They are like saanp and chachunder (predator and prey) who come together after a flood and storm to save their life,” said the CM.
He appealed the electorate to teach a lesson to those parties for their divisive politics of over a decade and a half and ensured their personal progress and prosperity.
The CM also chose the occasion to thank Muslim clerics across the state for cooperating in keeping the holi celebrations peaceful by deferring the timings of weekly Friday namaz by an hour to accommodate holi revellers.