LUCKNOW: The Rajya Sabha polls for 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh took yet another interesting turn on Wednesday as seven MLAs of the BSP rebelled against the party leadership saying that they were withdrawing their names as proposers to the candidature of candidate Ramji Gautam.
These MLAs went to Assembly to claim that they had never signed the papers of Gautam as proposers.
Meanwhile, in another major development, the nomination of Samajwadi Party-supported Independent candidate Prakash Bajaj was rejected on the technical ground as the name of the proposer on his papers was allegedly wrongly mentioned.
The returning officer for November 9 RS polls in the state also ruled that the nomination of the BSP candidate Ramji Gautam was found to be valid. This has left only 10 candidates in the fray from Uttar Pradesh and the path of all is clear to the upper House.
Earlier, all seven BSP MLAs went against the party line after allegedly meeting SP chief Akhilesh Yadav at his office on late Tuesday evening.
The seven BSP MLAs, namely Aslam Chaudhary, Aslam Rainee, Mujtaba Siddiqui, Hakim Lal Bind, Govind Jatav, Vandana Singh, and Sushma Patel reached the UP Assembly on Wednesday afternoon to take back their names as ‘Prastavak’ (proposers) of the BSP candidate Ramji Gautam.
Four of those BSP MLAs had given an affidavit in the Assembly claiming that they had never signed the papers of party candidate Ramji Gautam. They claimed that their signatures were forged on Gautam’s papers filed on October 26.
This had put the nomination of BSP candidate Ramji Gautam in jeopardy for he did not have enough votes to sail through. Also, the speculations were rife in the political circles that some more BSP MLAs might vote against the party’s official candidate if such a situation arises.
However, the leader of the BSP legislature party in the Assembly Lalji Verma refuted the allegations. Verma along with party national general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra and other MLAs submitted an affidavit in the Assembly saying that all those MLAs who had signed Gautam’s papers were present in person at the time of his nomination.
The party has even released a photo of the day of nomination to confirm the presence of proposers during nomination. Verma also said that Gautam had submitted three sets of papers. "While rebels have withdrawn their names as proposers from two sets, the third set is still valid as there has been no objection to it,” said the BSP leader.
After the scrutiny of Gautam’s nomination papers, the Returning Officer declared his nomination is valid on the basis of the third set of papers.
Meanwhile, the BJP raised objection to the nomination of Independent candidate Prakash Bajaj on the technical ground saying his nomination papers were incomplete and many columns were left blank. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna and BJP state general secretary JPS Rathore lodged a complaint with the election officer against the nomination of Bajaj saying that the name of one of the proposers on his papers was wrong and he did not figure on the voters’ list of his own constituency.
The BJP, so far, has officially fielded eight candidates -- Hardeep Singh Puri, Arun Singh, Haridwar Dubey, Brijlal, Neeraj Shekhar, Geeta Shakya, BL Verma, and Seema Dwivedi.
While SP fielded Ram Gopal Yadav, the BSP, despite not having the required numbers, has fielded Ramji Gautam.