Recovering from Kalyan Singhs resignation,the BJP got a much-needed morale booster in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday when both its candidates Baburam and Vinod Pandey won elections to the Legislative Council.
The election will also put to rest speculation,for now,over which way Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh will go in the general elections. It was the RLDs nine MLAs who ensured the BJP the second Legislative Council seat.
Its second candidate was short of 13 votes and two MLAs voted against the party,but Singhs men came to the BJPs rescue. The Congress,which has now definitely lost a chance for a tie-up with the RLD and is caught in a seat tussle with ally Samajwadi Party,suffered a major embarrassment when four of its 21 MLAs did not vote for party candidate Ranjit Singh Judeo.
While the Congress did not have enough votes to ensure Judeos victory,it never anticipated that its own MLAs would desert him.
All seven candidates of the ruling BSP and three of the SP were declared elected.
BJP Legislature Party leader Om Prakash Singh was quick to point out that the election results showed the rebellion by Kalyan had made no impact.
The Congress was in a state of shock. We are distressed and worried as all our MLAs were senior leaders who enjoyed the trust of the party high command. Our first step now will be to identify them and take action, said Rita Bahuguna Joshi,the state party president.
She also accused the BSP of buying votes. I would not like to name anyone but there are some people who had left our party and joined the BSP. They have traded votes for money just because they wanted to let others down. This also shows that they were unsure about their own members, she said.
A total of 399 MLAs cast their votes. Three MLAs Anand Sen Yadav and Shekhar Tewari of the BSP and Amarmani Tripathi of the SP are in jail and,therefore,could not vote. One SP MLA,Arun Kumar Yadav,arrived late.
The elected BSP candidates were PWD Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui,Ram Raksha Pal,Om Prakash Tripathi,Ashok Kumar Siddharth,Pratap Singh Baghel,Lokesh Prajapati and Dharm Prakash Bhartiya.
The winners from the SP were Ahmed Hasan,Ramesh Babu Yadav and Sarojini Agarwal.