The poll bugle has been sounded in the state of Uttar Pradesh once again. This time around, the battle lines will be drawn for election into the upper house of the parliament i.e. Rajya Sabha. The 11 seats of Rajya Sabha will go to poll on June 10 and the contest is already setting itself up nicely for a showdown.
While BJP is expected to garner 7 seats, courtesy of its stellar performance in the assembly polls, the Samajwadi Party is predicted the sweep the other three seats. It is the last and final 11th seat that is currently being subjected to intense rivalry from both sides with BJP expected to nick the seat as well.
What does the Math suggest?
Of 245 seats in Rajya Sabha, 31 members are elected from Uttar Pradesh. Of the11 seats that will be vacant come July, five are of the BJP, four of the SP, two of BSP and one of Congress. However, owing to a tepid and lacklustre performance in the assembly polls, BSP and Congress are a non-entity in the contest this time around.
It is pertinent to note that members of Rajya Sabha are elected by members of the state legislature. And sources have remarked that about 37 votes would be required to send one member to Rajya Sabha from the state whose assembly has 403 members.
BJP currently has 255 members, in addition to its alliance partners Apna Dal and NISHAD party having 12 and six members respectively. The SP has 111 members in the Assembly, while its alliance partner Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has eight and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) has six.
Thus, quick calculations suggest that BJP should not have any problem gobbling seven seats, while SP should comfortably coast to victory in three. However, the fourth and decisive seat should see intense competition with cross-voting highly likely.
In such a situation, small parties like Jansatta Dal Loktantrik could prove to be the kingmaker. Led by Raghuraj Pratap Singh, JDL currently has two members which could turn the tide in BJPs favour. Meanwhile, SP may only get the token support of Congress as BSP supremo Mayawati absolutely loathes Akhilesh for screwing her Rajya Sabha numbers in the previous election and will not be voting for him in any scenario.
Akhilesh finds himself between a rock and a hard place
If SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav fails to secure the seat, it could very well put a huge dent on his calibre within the party and outside political circles. Akhilesh’s problems have also been exacerbated by the fact that alliance leaders such as RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary and SBSP president Om Prakash Rajbhar are gunning for some of the Rajya Sabha seats.
If SP gives in to the demands of the two, it could set a dangerous precedent. However, if the party does not graft a middle ground, it could very well say ciao to the coalition. Thus, Akhilesh finds himself between a rock and a hard place.
If Akhilesh does not tie Jayant with a Rajya Sabha ticket, a wave of rebellion could be in the offing. Jayant has been attempting to expand his party’s footprint in the state. And according to sources, Jayant is masterminding a coalition with Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Yadav and senior party leader Azam Khan.
Alliance partners could rebel and break the coalition
Jayant met Azam Khan’s family last month and the rumour mills were abuzz with the speculation that the two leaders were concocting something fresh, without Akhilesh’s input. Moreover, Azam has been miffed with Akhilesh ever since the assembly elections for myriad reasons.
As for Shivpal, he may have come around to an alliance in the lead up to the assembly polls even after an acrimonious ouster from SP but he still harbours big ambitions for his newly formed party.
Read More: Untold story: How Mulayam trapped Shivpal in his net and cleared the path for his bloodline
Shivpal’s party was not granted the requisite seats to contest in the assembly polls and it is a grudge that the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party supremo has been holding for quite some time now. With an eye on future Lok Sabha polls, he may very well want to go out on his own and carve an independent identity.
Such troubles in his own household may not allow Akhilesh to gain ground for the 11th seat. Meanwhile, BJP — a known election-winning machine could easily muster up the numbers using a few rogue MLAs. Overall, it is a tough situation to be a certain Akhilesh Yadav for the next 20-25 days. If the SP leader does not get his act right, his political future may just be in jeopardy.