Lucknow: With the filing of nominations for Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council polls coming to a close tomorrow, the ruling BJP today sounded confident of bagging 11 out of 13 seats going to polls on April 26. The BJP and its allies enjoy a brute strength of 324 in the 403 UP Legislative Assembly. Arithmetically, they are likely to win 11 out of 13 seats comfortably and still be left with some additional votes.
UP BJP vice-president J P S Rathore said to ensure victory, a candidate needs 29 first preference votes. The notification for the legislative council polls was issued on April 9. The last date for filing nominations is April 16. Scrutiny of nominations will be done on April 17, while the last date for withdrawal of the candidature is April 19.
"We are sure of securing win on 11 out of the 13 seats of the Legislative Council seats going to polls," UP BJP spokesperson Navin Srivastava told said.
For the remaining two seats, Samajwadi Party has given up one seat to the BSP taking the new found friendship a step forward. The SP headed by Akhilesh Yadav had fielded two candidates, but withdrew one of them, paving the way for Mayawati's party to contest one seat as a quid pro quo for her support to the SP in the Lok Sabha bye-elections to Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats, which halted the saffron party's victory march in the bastion of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath (in Gorakhpur).
In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP won the Phulpur parliamentary constituency for the first time.
However, in the Rajya Sabha elections, it was a sweet revenge for the BJP, as it ensured victory of all its nine candidates, days after it lost two crucial seats in the Lok Sabha bypolls in the state.
In the 100-member UP Legislative Council, the BJP has just 13 members. The Samajwadi Party has 61 members, the BSP nine, the Congress two, the RLD one and others 12. Two seats are vacant.
Samajwadi Party spokesperson and MLC Sunil Singh Sajan said the SP-BSP combine will comfortably win the two legislative council seats.
"The Samajwadi Party is contesting on one seat in the Legislative Council polls. Initially, we had decided to contest on two seats, but later we decided to give one seat to BSP to strengthen our electoral understanding," SP spokesperson and MLC Sunil Singh Sajan said.
UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh said, "Going purely by numbers, we cannot field any party candidate (for the Council polls), but we can support the candidates from other like-minded parties. However, we expect the BSP to support our candidate (if we decide to field one), since we supported the BSP candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections."
According to the Election Commission, tenures of 13 MLCs, including SP national president Akhilesh Yadav and two ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government -- Mahendra Kumar Singh and Mohsin Raza -- will end on May 5.
Of the 13 seats falling vacant, seven were held by the SP, two each by the BJP and the BSP, and one RLD. The thirteenth seat was held by former SP minister Ambika Chaudhary. His seat fell vacant when he switched over from the SP to the BSP.
Apart from the SP chief, six other MLCs from the party whose term is coming to an end are state SP chief Naresh Chandra Uttam, senior party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary, Umar Ali Khan, Madhu Gupta, Ramsakal Gurjar and Vijay Yadav.
MLCs from other parties whose term ends on May 5 are Vijay Pratap and Sunil Kumar Chittor (both BSP) and Chaudhary Mushtaq -- the lone RLD member.
Though the BJP and its allies have 324 MLAs in the 403- member state Assembly, it may not get the required strength in the Upper House to get the bills passed even after winning 11 of the 13 seats by dint of its strength.
During the winter session of the state legislature last year, the Yogi Aditynanath government had suffered an embarrassment when it failed to ensure the passage of the Uttar Pradesh Control of Organised Crime (UPCOC) Bill in the Upper House.