In a major setback to the budding SP-BSP coalition, the ruling BJP clinched the most crucial 10th Rajya Sabha seat by drubbing BSP candidate thus ensuring safe passage to its all nine candidates to the upper house here on Friday.
Saffron party registered the emphatic win on eight seats with 39 votes to each while its 9th candidate Anil Agarwal defeated BSP’s Bhim Rao Ambedkar amidst a flurry of cross votings on Friday night. SP candidate and party’s three time MP, Jaya Bachchan walked away with the 10th seat securing 38 votes.
Of the BJP nine candidates who sailed through to the upper house include Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley and the party spokesman GVL Narsimha Rao .
In a photo finish for the 10the seat which had become a battle of prestige for both the ruling party and the united opposition, BJP supported candidate Anil Agarwal polled only 22 votes while BSP’s Bhimrao Ambedkar got 33 votes but Agarwal sailed through on the basis of the second preference votes .Agarwal could muster only 22 first preference votes as other eight BJP candidates got 39, two more than required, first preference votes each.
The other eight who won included Anil Jain, Ashok Bajpai, Sakaldip Rajbhar , Kamta Kardam, Harinath Yadav and Vijay Pal Singh Tomar.
CM Yogi Adityanath joined by his two deputies and party state chief greeted all the winners.
The CM, however, claimed that this victory had exposed the opportunistic face of opposition. He took a jibe on SP inferring that they failed to keep promise to their partner BSP. “The SP has learnt only taking and not giving,” said the CM.
However, the elections to 10 RS seats witnessed heavy cross voting from both the ruling party and opposition camps.
While, the BSP candidate suffered the losses due to cross voting by the MLAs of both SP and BSP, two MLAs of SP and Rajbhar’s BSP, an NDA ally, voted in favour of rival candidate.
Similarly the court decision of denying permission to the two imprisoned MLAs SP and the BSP each was paid off the BJP.
Interestingly, this defeat will play a role in deciding the extent of consolidation of upcoming SP-BSP truck in the days to come.
The BSP supremo Mayawati had worked really hard and had clinched the barter deal with arch rival SP to ensure passage of at least one BSP candidate to the upper house. The next major test on the cards will be the Kairana Lok Sabah and Noorpur Assembly bypoll within next five months.
However, for the saffron camp, this win has come as a balm on the wounds of bypoll defeat in Gorakhpur and Phoolpur.
While independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh cast his first preference vote to SP’s Jaya Bachchan and kept his promise to SP chief Akahielsh Yadav, he obliged the ruling party by casting second preference vote in favour of BJP’s Anil Agarwal. Singh was brought onboard BJP late Thursday night after his conversation with chief Amit Shah.
Moreover, in precipitating the BSP defeat, one of its MLA Anil Singh cross voting also played a role. He switched over to BJP camp late Thursday night and also voted publicly announcing his support to CM Yogi. Besides, two votes each of ruling apry and opposition were declared invalid. However, SP’s 8, Congress’s 7 and RLD 1 MLA voted in favour of Ambedkar who got just 17 votes from his own party. Each candidate needed 37 votes to win.
The BJP- led NDA had total strength of 325 MLAs with BJP alone 311 and the SBSP four and Apna Dal 9. The victory of 8 BJP candidates was certain with 28 spare votes for the ninth candidate Anil Agarwal who needed nine more votes.
The SP, with 47 MLAs, had fielded Jaya Bachchan. With 37 MLAs out of 47, her win was ensured. Party with its nine spare votes (with Nitin Agarwal voting for BJP) had to back BSP candidate Bhim Rao Ambedkar. However, both SP and BSP number was reduced by one seat each as their MLAs—Hari Om Yadav and Mukhatr Ansari were barred respectively by Feroazabad special court and Allahabad High Court from casting their vote.