The crucial biennial elections to the 12 seats of the
Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council will be held on Thursday.
There is a likelihood of cross-voting by BJP legislators owing an allegiance to Kalyan Singh and a few rebel Samajwadi Party (SP) MLAs.
Two BJP legislators Sunder Singh Lodhi and Premlata,daughter-in-law of Kalyan Singh and MLA from Atrauli skipped the party meeting of the MLAs on Wednesday.
Three SP legislators Gauri Shankar,Dhaniram Verma and Sandeep Agarwal have deserted the party. While Shankar and Verma have joined the BSP,Agarwal has opted for the BJP. Vijay Mishra,SP legislator from Bhadoi is said to be close to the BSP due to which,the SP is not counting his vote.
For the council elections,13 candidates are in the fray,where one candidate requires 32 first preference votes to get elected.
As the elections will be held through secret ballot with no party allowed to issue a whip,cross-voting as well as horse-trading is expected.
The seven candidates of the ruling BSP and the three of the Opposition SP are likely to cross the hurdle. But the tussle would be between the second candidate of the BJP Vinod Pandey and the lone Congress candidate Ranjit Singh Judev,as between them only one can win. The SP,however,might fall short as they will have to manage four votes due to defection of similar number of members to the BSP.
The trump card of the election between Pandey and Judev rests on the decision of the 9-member Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
The RLD has officially announced to support the BJP. While the BJP has a deficit of 13 votes,the Congress will have to manage 11 additional votes.
Principal Secretary (Assembly) and Returning Officer Pradeep Kumar Dubey said all arrangements for smooth conduct of the elections have been completed.
The 403-member Assembly,including the nominated members,will be eligible to vote in the elections.
The BSP and SP,meanwhile,have deputed floor managers to monitor the activity of their members during the elections.
While BSP state president Swami Prasad Maurya,Ministers Lalji Verma and Indrajeet Saroj have been deputed by the ruling party,Shivpal Singh Yadav and Ambika Choudhury for the SP.
The members,who are retiring on January 30,include four each of the BSP and BJP,three of the SP and one from Congress.