New political equations are brewing in Uttar Pradesh as the state gears up to send 10 MPs to the Rajya Sabha this November. While the sitting MPs have started lobbying to retain their seat, parties have started chalking out strategies to choose their candidates.
Of the 10 members, whose term ends on November 25, BSP has six, SP has two and BJP has one. One member was jointly supported by the SP and Congress.
Things would, however, be different this time, thanks to SP’s thumping victory in the last Assembly elections.
With 224 MLAs, SP would get to choose six MPs, while BSP, which has 80 legislators, would have to content itself with sending two members to the Rajya Sabha.
With 47 MLAs, BJP would get to send one entry. While Congress, with just 28 MLAs, cannot send an entry alone, it can tie up with RLD, which has 8 MLAs, and send one member to the Rajya Sabha.
While the SP is looking to use its dominant position to choose faces who can be of use when the party goes to the Assembly elections in 2017, the BSP, which could not win even a single seat in the recent Lok Sabha election, is at maximum unease.
BSP sources said party vice-president Raja Ram, who is currently in-charge of three states, is one of the most likely candidates. Party chief Mayawati is still in the process of taking a decision on the second candidate.
Sources said it could be another hardcore cadre or Akhilesh Das, reportedly one of the financers of the party. Brijesh Pathak, who lost Lok Sabha election from Unnao, is not among the probables as of now, sources added.
Meanwhile, to ensure his entry to the Rajya Sabha, Akhilesh Das is reportedly in touch with Congress, which has 28 out of 35 required votes. Das was earlier with the Congress.
Also, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh, who along with his son Jayant and other leaders, including Amar Singh and Jaya Prada lost their seats in Lok Sabha election, has reportedly approached Congress seeking support to become a Rajya Sabha MP.
“Together, RLD and Congress alliance get to elect one Rajya Sabha member and one state council member. Last time we let them send a member to Rajya Sabha, while we chose an entry for Vidhan Parishad. This time, our genuine demand is to choose the Rajya Sabha entry,” said RLD state president Munna Singh Chauhan.
Amid all this, BJP, which gets to elect one member, is re-considering repeating Kusum Rai. However, with a government at the Centre and too many claimants, party sources they have plenty of time at their disposal to choose their Rajya Sabha entry.