Lucknow: With barely two days left for the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council elections, BJP is making all out efforts to garner support of smaller parties and Independent MLAs to ensure victory in two of the 12 seats going to polls on January 23.
BJP with 41 MLAs can ensure victory of only one candidate, leaving a surplus of 10 votes. However, banking on support of Independents and smallar parties, it has fielded two nominees -- Lakshman Acharya and Dayashankar Singh.
"We are relying on conscience votes to meet the shortage," BJP leader and spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak told PTI today.
BJP sources said the party was in touch with certain disgruntled BSP MLAs to get the additional votes.
After suffering a humiliating defeat in the just concluded Cantonment Board elections, especially in Varanasi and Lucknow, BJP did not want to leave anything to chance.
The party formed a four-member committee comprising BJP Legislature Party leader Suresh Kumar Khanna, and senior leaders Hriday Narain Dixit, Dharmpal Singh and Ramapati Shastri to oversee the Council polls.
"We are banking on extra votes and analysing the situation," Pathak said.
The biennial elections have become interesting in the wake of Congress extending support to ruling Samajwadi Party, and RLD backing BSP's third candidate.
The state Assembly has 403 members and first preference
votes of 31 MLAs are needed to ensure victory of one candidate for the Upper House.
SP, with 230 MLAs, is expected to have smooth sailing in seven seats. Keeping in mind the 13 surplus votes it has, SP is contesting an additional seat.
With support of 28 Congress MLAs, SP hopes its nominee for the additional seat will emerge victorious.
BSP with 80 MLAs will easily manage two seats, but with a surplus of 18 votes, it would require support from 13 MLAs from outside to ensure victory of its third candidate.
RLD's eight members will support BSP, but still Mayawati's party will be short of five votes.
In this scenario, smaller parties like Peace Party (4 MLAs), Quami Ekta Dal (2), and NCP, Apna Dal, Etehad-e-Millat Council and Trinamool Congress (one MLA each) besides six Independents will play a crucial role in deciding the fate of the twelfth candidate in case of voting.
SP has fielded Health Minister Ahmad Hasan, Ramesh Yadav, Ramjatan Rajbhar, Sahab Singh Saini, Ashok Bajpai, Virendra Singh Gurjar, Sarojini Agarwal and Ashu Malik.
Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Dharmveer Ashok and Pradeep are contesting on BSP ticket.
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.