Azam Khan-Shivpal Card May Hurt Akhilesh’s Prospects, BJP Looks to Improve Tally

Azam Khan-Shivpal Card May Hurt Akhilesh’s Prospects, BJP Looks to Improve Tally

The Election Commission on Thursday announced the poll schedule for 57 Rajya Sabha seats in 15 states. Elections for these seats, including 11 seats in UP, are to be held on June 10.

In Uttar Pradesh, while the BJP will be looking to improve its tally in the Upper House after getting a majority in the recent assembly elections, it will be a litmus test for Akhilesh Yadav and his MLAs as keeping them together might be a task for the Samajwadi Party. The nomination forms for Rajya Sabha elections can be filled from May 24-31.

The announcement comes amid an internal tussle in the SP regarding Akhilesh Yadav’s estranged uncle Shivpal Yadav and veteran Azam Khan. If a situation arises where voting is needed in the Rajya Sabha elections, it might be a task for SP to stop its dissident MLAs from cross-voting. Azam Khan is reportedly unhappy with the SP leadership and this may have its repercussions in the Rajya Sabha elections as well.

Azam Khan, the SP MLA from Rampur, has been in jail for more than two years now. He has found support from PSPL chief Shivpal Yadav, who accused the top brass of neglecting the veteran leader. It is now speculated that along with Shivpal Yadav and Azam Khan, the MLAs close to these leaders might spring a surprise for the SP in Rajya Sabha polls.

As per sources, SP is in a position to send three Rajya Sabha members of which one may be Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Chaudhary Jayant, while the other may be retired IAS and former chief secretary Alok Ranjan who had joined SP ahead of 2022 UP assembly polls. The third person who may be sent to Rajya Sabha by SP can be its leader from Maharashtra Abu Asim Azmi. However, if SP decides to field a fourth candidate, then voting may take place and the fight would be to save its MLAs from cross-voting.

At present, the BSP has three Rajya Sabha members of which the tenure of Ashok Siddharth and Satish Chandra Mishra is ending in July. The BSP currently has only one member in the UP assembly, which makes it clear that the party won’t be able to send even a single member to Rajya Sabha this time. At present, the term of five members of the BJP, three of the Samajwadi Party, two of the Bahujan Samaj Party and one Rajya Sabha member of the Congress is going to end. For one seat, the votes of 34 MLAs will be required.

Speaking about the number of MLAs in the new assembly, the Bharatiya Janata Party can get 7 out of 11 seats while the SP, along with its alliance partners, can comfortably get three seats. There might be a close contest between BJP and SP for the 11th seat.

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