Akhilesh Yadav unlikely to contest Uttar Pradesh legislative polls

FILE PHOTO: Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav
Akhilesh Yadav, the national president of principal opposition Samajwadi Party (SP), is unlikely to contest the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Parishad polls himself.

Yadav is the sitting UP member of legislative council (MLC) and his term is due to expire on May 5. If he does not contest the polls slated later this month, it would mean that the former UP chief minister would not be the member of any house for the time being and join the league of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati. She had last year resigned from her Rajya Sabha seat and ever since, she has been working towards strengthening her party at the grassroots before the 2019 Lok Sabha poll without representing any constituency.

UP Vidhan Parishad polls are due to fill 13 seats either falling vacant soon or already vacant. If Yadav decides against contesting the Parishad poll then he would have to wait for the 2019 Lok Sabha poll to fight an election.

The prominent among those whose Vidhan Parishad term would be coming to an end include Akhilesh Yadav, UP ministers Mohsin Raza and Mahendra Singh, SP UP president Naresh Uttam Patel, Rajendra Chaudhary, Madhu Gupta, Ramsakal Gurjar, Umar Ali Khan, Vijay Yadav; Chaudhary Mushaq of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), and BSP leaders Vijay Pratap and Sunil Kumar Chittaur.

A senior SP leader told Business Standard that the party was yet to decide on the candidature for the Vidhan Parishad poll.

In Vidhan Parishad polls, MLAs cast their vote to elect MLCs. It would take 29 votes to elect an MLC in UP. SP has strength only to ensure the victory of only one candidate and such circumstance, there are indications that Yadav would decide against contesting himself and instead nominate one of the party seniors. Yadav would instead invest his energies to revamp his outfit in run up to the next year’s crucial polls.

According to sources, SP would transfer its extra votes for BSP candidate to keep their alliance going.

On basis of brute majority in Vidhan Sabha, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) can get 11 of its candidates elected, if there is no cross voting. The Vidhan Parishad poll would be another acid test for CM Yogi Adityanath in the form of the floor test.

Currently, BJP and allies enjoy support of 224 members in 403 member Vidhan Sabha and thus it could safely get 11 of its members elected. A BJP MLA had died in a road accident last month reducing the party’s effective strength to 311 from 312, while also reducing the voting members to 402. SP enjoys the support of 46 MLAs, while BSP has 19 members in the Vidhan Sabha.

BJP is likely to field candidates representing all the communities in the Parishad polls.

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