Rajya Sabha polls: Two of 11 BJP candidates withdraw names

BJP’s state general secretaries — Vidya Sagar Sonkar and Salil Vishnoi — withdrew from the fray by taking their names back on Thursday, the last day for withdrawal of nomination papers.

Published: 15th March 2018 09:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th March 2018 09:52 PM   |  A+A-

BJP flags used for representational purpose only.(Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: A day after facing a humiliating defeat in prestigious Gorakhpur and Phulpur parliamentary bypolls, BJP on Thursday withdrew the two extra candidates it had fielded in upcoming Rajya Sabha
elections. UP will send 10 members to the upper house after voting on March 23.

BJP’s state general secretaries — Vidya Sagar Sonkar and Salil Vishnoi — withdrew from the fray by taking their names back on Thursday, the last day for withdrawal of nomination papers.

With this, nine saffron party candidates, including Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley, have been left in the fray.

Moreover, given its strength – 324 MLAs -- in 402 member UP Assembly, BJP can easily get its eight candidates elected and will be left with 28 spare votes.

“We have followd the diktats of our party high command,” said Vishnoi, a three-time former MLA from Aryanagar constituency in Kanpur. Sonkar has been a Rajya Sabha MP in past.

However, Anil Agarwal, a Ghaziabad-based businessman and 9th candidate of the party, will be pitched against BSP’s Bhim Rao Ambedkar who is backed by SP and Congress. The voting will take place on
March 23.

In a post-victory and thanks giving meeting with BSP chief Mayawati on Wednesday night, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had assured full support to her candidate in RS election. Mayawati, in turn, believably
told Akhilesh that if a Dalit was sent to upper house, it would send a positive message down the line to the benefit of both the parties.

SP has nominated actor-turned politician and three-time RS members Jaya Bachchan for the lone seat the party can get as it has 47 MLAs and she would need 37 votes. In such a case, Sp would be left with
10 spare votes. SP has officially announced support to BSP nominee. Congress with 7 MLAs and RLD with just one, too have supported BSP candidate.

Political experts feel that it would be the test of SP-BSP-Congress tie-up and a bigger responsibility would be there on three parties to keep their flock intact.

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