In a major setback to Bharatiya Janata Party, its second nominee Dayashanker SIngh proved second time unlucky after he failed to win the MLC polls yet again almost 18 months after he first lost the poll last held in 2015.
Even though, the BJP’s first nominee Bhupendra Chaudhary, a jat leader from West UP romped home successfully, the talk of political discussion remained focus around the defeat of second nominee.
A defeat of the party nominee nine months before UP will go to assembly poll should come as an eye opener for a party that boasted off confidence post-Assam win and claimed good governance in the past two years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre.
Second consecutive defeat for Singh, would make it difficult for him to establish himself as a national leader. What was more surprising was the fact that Singh could muster only eight extra votes against the claims by senior leadership time and again that many MLAs from other parties were in touch with BJP leaders and wanted to switch loyalty at an appropriate time.
No time would have been opportune for the MLAs from other parties to show their loyalty than secret ballot at MLC polls that was held on Friday. Interestingly, believed to be vulnerable, Congress was able to ensure win for its lone parishad candidate Deepak Singh of Amethi.
Rest all other parties including BSP and SP managed to win all the seats that they contested on. SP fielded 7 candidates while BSP fielded three candidates.
The elections for the 13 council seats were held at Tilak Hall in Secretariat on Friday. While 400 MLAs out of the possible 403 caste their franchise, most dramatic turn of events was the entry of Sharma brothers.
Accompanied by Sardhana MLA from BJP Sangeet Singh Som, Bhagwan Sharma alias Guddu Pandit, an SP MLA from Dibai and his brother Mukesh Sharma, also an SP MLA from Shikarpur, entered the Central Hall, making it almost clear that they have made up their mind to defect.
Even though cross-voting after BJP’s claim was expected to be a surety, all parties including Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party expressed satisfaction after most of the MLAs from their party concerned toed the party line.
What must be the cause of worry for the BJP even more is that the election results on Friday evening would have its direct bearing on Rajya Sabha election scheduled to be held on Saturday.
In Rajya Sabha, against the total 11 seats, last day entry of a Gujarat based NGO worker Preeti Mahapatra, who is the wife of Hariha Mahapatra, a businessman from Odisha, as 12 nominee has necessitated voting. Preet Mahapatra though an Independent has backing of 7 extra votes.
Besides, Preeti Mahapatra also has the support of BSP rebel Bala Prasad Awasthi, SP discard Rampal Yadav, Apna Dal’s RK Verma, NCP’s Fateh Bahadur Singh and Independent Sushil Singh which takes the tally to 12. Mahapatra thus is short of around 22 MLAs if she has to make it to Rajya Sabha.
Interestingly, Preeti also has the support of BJP’s poll managers like national vice-president and a businesman from Gujarat Purushottam Rupala and party’s national general secretary Dr Anil Jain.
Jain in fact stayed for around five days in Lucknow at a prominent hotel near old Tulsi complex and was believed to be managing election. Jain, however, finally has left Lucknow on Friday.
Voting for Rajya Sabha would begin at 9am.