It will be a direct contest between the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on eight out of 28 Legislative Council seats going to polls Thursday. Other political parties have not fielded candidates on these eight seats and independents too have stayed away.
In all BJP is contesting on 21 seats. In other constituencies, BSP is contesting on seven seats only while Congress has fielded candidate only in Rae Bareli, the Lok Sabha constituency of party president Sonia Gandhi. There are 37 independents contesting on 20 seats.
Eight SP candidates have already been elected to the Upper House unopposed. On four seats including— Lucknow-Unnao, Meerut-Ghaziabad, Agra-Firozabad and Banda-Hamirpur— BJP candidates had withdrawn their nominations at the last moment and are now facing action from the party on the charges of indiscipline.
According to sources in Chief Electoral Office (CEO) of UP, BJP and SP candidates have filed a large number of complaints against each other in the eight constituencies where they are in direct contest. BJP’s Jitendra Yadav in Badaun sent a complaint to the Election Commission late Tuesday night alleging that local administration and police officials conducted raids at his camp office and residences of party workers and picked over two dozen persons. Yadav alleged that government machinery was working in favour of SP’s candidate.
CEO Arun Singhal said that he inquired into the matter with Badaun district magistrate who clarified that raids were not conducted categorically at places related to BJP candidate, but search was carried out at several other places in Aonla and Bareilly too on different complaints. “BJP candidate’s allegation that his belongings were taken by the police was found baseless,” CEO said.
CEO informed that a total of 97 candidates are in fray for the 28 constituencies going to polls. For free and fair poll, EC has appointed 28 general observers, 11 expenditure observers and 790 micro observers along with 271 zonal magistrates, 470 sector magistrates and 470 static magistrates. EC for the first time has taken various measures to put check on misuse of money and power in MLC polls. Counting of votes will be on March 6.