Yogi Adityanath, three others elected unopposed to UP Legislative Council

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditiyanath. Photo: PTI
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday got elected unopposed to the Vidhan Parishad (legislative council), thus becoming a member of the state legislature and retaining his post as well. Vidhan Parishad seats are filled through indirect polling by Vidhan Sabha members.

Apart from Yogi, three of his council of ministers were also elected unopposed to the Upper House as the opposition parties had not filed their candidate. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) enjoys a huge majority in the Vidhan Sabha, 325 out of 403. 

The others elected to the Vidhan Parishad included deputy CMs Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Prasad Maurya and state transport minister Swatantra Dev Singh. None of these, apart from UP minister of state for waqf Mohsin Raza, were still members of the state legislature.

A member of the council of ministers, including the CM, is required to get elected to either of the two house, that is, either Vidhan Sabha or Vidhan Parishad within six months of assuming office. Since Yogi and the council of ministers had taken oath on March 19, 2017, they were required to become members of the legislature by September 18.

Raza, who is contesting another vacant Vidhan Parishad seat is likely to be declared elected unopposed on September 11, since his seat is also not being contested by the opposition.

Yogi and Maurya are respectively sitting Members of Parliament from Gorakhpur and Phoolpur (Allahabad) constituencies. Sharma was the mayor of Lucknow before becoming a deputy CM.

Over the past few weeks, six UP Members of Legislative Council (MLCs) had resigned from their seats, necessitating this poll. These included five Samajwadi Party (SP) members- Bukkal Nawab, Yashwant Singh, Sarojini Agarwal, Ashok Bajpai and Ambika Chaudhary, apart from a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLC Thakur Jaivir Singh.

These resignations were credited to the BJP floor managers to save Yogi and his ministers from direct poll for Vidhan Sabha, which could have presented an opportunity to the opposition to unite and divert the attention of BJP from its other agendas.

The indirect election would also increase the BJP tally in the Upper House, where SP still enjoys considerable majority.

Now, CM Yogi will have to resign from his Gorakhpur seat and it would be interesting to watch as to who steps in his shoes, since he had for the fifth consecutive time represented this constituency in Parliament. Meanwhile, Yogi reached Gorakhpur for a three-day visit on Friday.

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