Lucknow, Dec 9 (IANS) The BJP in Uttar Pradesh has now focused its eyes on the next set of elections to the state legislative council that are likely to take place next month.
Eleven seats in the Upper House will fall vacant on January 30 next year.
Of the 11 seats, the Samajwadi Party holds six seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have three and two seats respectively.
The BJP leaders, who are retiring from the legislative council next month, include Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, UP state president Swatantra Dev Singh and state BJP vice-president Laxman Acharya, who is the party’s Dalit face.
The vote count for a seat in the Upper House is 35 and with 309 MLAs, the BJP can easily send eight members and still have 29 votes to spare.
With the help from the Apna Dal which has nine MLAs, the BJP can send the ninth candidate too.
While Swatantra Dev Singh and Dinesh Sharma will be re-nominated to the Upper House, the race for the remaining six seats is gaining momentum.
The Samajwadi Party, which has only 49 MLAs, can retain one seat in the council with 14 votes to spare.
The six SP MLCs who are retiring on January 30 include Ahmad Hasan, Ashu Malik, Ramesh Yadav, Ram Jatan Rajbhar, Virendra Singh and Saheb Singh Saini.
BSP’s Pradeep Jatav and Dharamveer Singh Ashok will also complete their six-year tenure in the legislative council but the party, which is left with just ten members, will not be able to send a member to the Upper House unless it gets support from other opposition parties or the BJP.
A senior BJP functionary said the party would select candidates in view of the 2022 Assembly elections.
“We will keep political alignments and the Assembly elections in mind while finalising candidates for these polls,” he said.
In the Rajya Sabha biennial elections last month, the BJP allowed the BSP candidate Ramji Gautam to get elected unopposed by not fielding an additional candidate despite having excess votes.
The generosity shown by the BJP fueled talks of a possible alignment with the BSP in the future.
The legislative council, at present, has 52 members of the Samajwadi Party followed by the BJP with 19 MLCs. The BSP and the Congress have a strength of eight and two MLCs respectively.