Lucknow: All eight Samajwadi Party candidates on Monday filed their nominations for the UP Legislative Council election here in which the ruling party is likely to have a smooth sailing.
SP candidates -- Health Minister Ahmad Hasan, Ramesh Yadav, Ramjatan Rajbhar, Sahab Singh Saini, Ashok Bajpai, Virendra Singh Gurjar, Sarojini Agarwal and Ashu Malik -- filed their nominations in the presence of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, PWD Minister Shivpal Yadav and other senior leaders at Vidhan Sabha Central Hall .
As the State Assembly has 403 members, first preference votes of 31 MLAs would be needed to ensure victory of a candidate to the Upper House in January 23 election to 12 seats.
SP with 230 MLAs can secure only seven Council seats. But with Congress, which had 28 MLAs, deciding not to field a candidate as quid pro quo for SP's support in Rajya Sabha election, SP can now win the eighth seat as well.
BSP with 80 MLAs will easily manage two seats, but with a surplus of 18 votes, it would require support of 13 MLAs from outside to ensure victory of its third candidate.
BJP, on the other hand, has 41 MLAs and can secure victory of only one out of two candidates unless it too gets outside support.
Smaller parties like RLD with 8 MLAs, Peace Party (4 MLAs), Quami Ekta Dal (2), and NCP, Etehad-e-Millat Council and Trinmool Congress (with one MLA each) besides six Independents could play a crucial role in deciding the twelfth winning candidate in case of voting.
BSP has fielded Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Dharmveer Ashok and Pradeep, who have filed their nominations.
BJP has declared Lakshman Acharya as its candidate and is likely to announce an additional candidate also.
Among the 12 retiring members whose term will come to an end on January 30, seven are from BSP, three from SP and two from BJP.