After a resounding victory in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, the BJP is eyeing to become the single largest party in the state assembly, winning a majority of the 36 upper house seats that went to the polls on Saturday.
The 36 seats are spread over 35 local authority constituencies. The biennial election was planned on two dates earlier but now it will be held on April 9 together. The count will be held April 12. This is an opportunity for the saffron party to enjoy a majority in both the houses of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.
In the 100-member Legislative Assembly, the BJP has 34 MLCs, the Samajwadi Party 17 and the Bahujan Samaj Party four. The Congress, Apna Dal (Sonelal) and Nishad Dal each have MPs. The teacher group has 2 MLCs, with individual groups (‘non-partisan groups’) and each individual group having 1 MLC.
At present 36 seats are vacant. Addressing BJP workers a week ago, Chief Minister Adityanath said it was important for the party to win 36 seats to advance its government’s growth agenda without any hindrance.
“Out of these 36 seats, the BJP has won nine uncontested. If the party wins all 36 seats, you can assume that it will have a two-thirds majority in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly and will have no problem moving development projects forward fast.” Gorakhpur Urban MLA Adityanath will cast his vote at the Municipal Corporation polling station in Gorakhpur on Saturday, official sources said.
Voters in this biennial election are village heads, members and chairmen of block development councils, members and chairmen of district panchayats and urban corporators. MLAs and MPs are also voters in this election.
The Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party did not field any candidate in the Assembly elections, it was a direct battle between the main opposition BJP and the Samajwadi Party in the state assembly.
Some independent candidates are also in the field. Of the 36 BJP candidates, five are former Samajwadi Party leaders who joined the saffron camp ahead of the February-March state elections.
They are Shailendra Pratap Singh of Sultanpur local authority, CP Chanda of Gorakhpur-Maharajganj local authority, Ravi Shankar Singh ‘Pappu’, grandson of former Prime Minister Chandrasekhar of Balia local authority, Rama Niranjan from Jhansi-Jalaun-Lalitpur local authority. And Narendra Bhati from Bulandshahr local authority. The Samajwadi Party has announced its candidates for 34 seats, leaving Meerut-Ghaziabad and Bulandshahr for its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal.
Prominent among those who have been nominated are Dr Kafil Khan from Deoria, Mashkur Ahmed from Rampur-Bareilly, Lucknow-Unnao, Barabanki and sitting MLCs from Mathura-Ita-Mainpuri, Sunil Kumar Sajan, Rajesh Kumar and Udaybir Singh respectively. Adityanath was recently elected as MLA from Gorakhpur Urban constituency and left the assembly seat. The Samajwadi Party has nominated Sanjay Lathar for the post, following the death of Ahmed Hassan, the council’s opposition leader, on February 19 after a long illness. In the recently concluded assembly elections, the BJP won 255 seats, while its ally Apan Dal (Sonelal) and Nishad Dal won 12 and six seats respectively.
The Samajwadi Party won 111 seats and its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal won eight seats. Another ally of the Samajwadi Party, SBSP, has won six seats. The Congress has won two seats, while the BSP has won one seat.
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