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Congress backs BSP candidate for Rajya Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh

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The Congress on Saturday announced that it will support the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Bhim Rao Ambedkar for the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, polling for which will be held on March 23.

A meeting of Congress Legislature Party was held in Lucknow this morning and after consulting the MLAs, the party decided to vote for the BSP nominee in the election, CLP leader Ajay Singh Lallu said.

“We have decided to join hands with the secular forces against the oppressive and communal politics and decided to vote for the BSP candidate,” Lallu said, adding that the central leadership of the party has been apprised of the decision and they have supported it.

The Congress’ support comes after BSP chief Mayawati offered a quid pro quo in Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. According to the offer, her party would support the Congress candidate in Rajya Sabha election in MP if all its seven MLAs vote for the BSP’s Rajya Sabha candidate in Uttar Pradesh.

The nomination process for the election on UP’s 10 Rajya Sabha seats will close on March 12. The election, if necessary, will be held on March 23.

Polling in biennial elections for 10 Rajya Sabha seats from the state will be held on March 23. Based on its strength in the state assembly, the ruling BJP can send eight persons to the Upper House of Parliament, while the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the BSP can send one member each.

The BJP, however, is said to have been contemplating a ninth candidate also. The SP has named Jaya Bachchan as its candidate for the polls.

The BSP has 19 members in the Vidhan Sabha while the Congress has seven. The SP has 47 and the BJP, along with its allies, has 324 seats.

To get elected to the Rajya Sabha, each candidate requires 37 votes. While eight candidates of the BJP can cruise along easily, it will have 28 more votes and if it can ensure cross-voting by nine more members, its ninth candidate can also get elected.

(With agencies inputs)