Jayant Chaudhary to be joint candidate of SP-RLD for Rajya Sabha elections

Congress veteran Kapil Sibal had on Wednesday filed his nomination as an SP-backed Independent candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls.
Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary (File | PTI)
Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary (File | PTI)

LUCKNOW: The political alliance between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) was cemented further on Thursday with the announcement of the name of RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary as SP-RLD joint candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls.

The announcement has laid to rest speculations about the candidature of Akhilesh Yadav’s wife and former Lok Sabha member from Kannauj, Dimple Yadav.

However, sources say the party is contemplating fielding her from Azamgarh parliamentary constituency, the seat vacated by Akhilesh after he got elected from Karhal in 2022 Assembly polls.

The bypoll for Azamgarh and Rampur, the seat vacated by Azam Khan, will take place on June 23. Azamgarh has been an SP stronghold. Before Akhilesh, it was represented in Lok Sabha by SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.

With Jayant’s candidature, Akhilesh has stuck to the decision taken during the UP Assembly elections, and the promise purportedly made to the RLD leader by him.

The announcement came a day after former Congress leader Kapil Sibal filed his nomination papers for Rajya Sabha as an independent candidate backed by the SP. Javed Ali Khan has been chosen as the party’s third candidate for the upper house.

SP and RLD have been allies since 2019 Lok Sabha elections and continued their tie-up in the recent Assembly elections.

Political pundits say the latest move will not only strengthen their ties for the 2024 general elections but would also restrain Jayant from gravitating towards the BJP if the saffron brigade tries to woo him.

With 273 MLAs in the UP Assembly, the BJP-led NDA will easily get seven members elected to the Rajya Sabha, while SP and its allies (RLD and SBSP), with a strength of 125 legislators, will be able to ensure the victory of three candidates, thus making the picture clear for 10 of the 11 seats that will be vacated in July.

There could be a possible contest on the 11th seat as BJP will need 15 more votes while SP will need 21 more votes to ensure the victory of their respective candidate if voting for the 11th seat takes place.

In this scenario, the second preference votes will come into play in which the BJP seems to have an edge.

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