Rajya Sabha Election 2018: Amit Shah’s Big Gains In The Last 24 Hours Over Mayawati
After losing two important by-elections in Uttar Pradesh, BJP president Amit Shah was back in the game today as seven Samajwadi lawmakers skipped an important party meeting. Ahead of the Rajya Sabha election, it is bad news for Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and also Mayawati’s party – the BSP, which stands to lose the race for one seat in the upper house.
Days ago, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati set aside their 25-year rivalry and pulled off an incredible win for Samajwadi Party candidates in two BJP strongholds. As part of the quid pro quo, Akhilesh Yadav’s lawmakers are to support Mayawati’s party in the Rajya Sabha polls.
On Friday, Uttar Pradesh will decide on 10 of 31 Rajya Sabha seats. There are nine BJP candidates and one each from the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Mayawati’s BSP. Each candidate from UP will require the support of 37 legislators. The BJP is confident of winning at least eight seats, with 311 members in the assembly, and the Samajwadi Party, with 47 members, should be able to snag one. Akhilesh Yadav’s party said it would give its surplus 10 to help Mayawati’s BSP, which is short of votes with only 19 members. Along with one more from Ajit Singh’s party, the BSP would make it.
Not if Amit Shah has his way.
The Samajwadi Party is struggling to keep its flock together. Seven lawmakers, including party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle Shivpal Yadav, skipped a meeting this morning in Lucknow. The absentees include the lawmaker son of Naresh Agrawal, a serial defector who quit the Samajwadi Party and shifted to the BJP after being denied a place in the Rajya Sabha.
A party leader was confident that these members would show up at a dinner organized later at a luxury hotel. “The Samajwadi Party is united under Akhilesh Yadav’s leadership. Those who did not turn up right now will turn up later. On the day of voting, all of our MLAs will be together,” said Parasnath Yadav, an SP legislator.
But party sources say they have given up on the vote of Naresh Agrawal’s son. As for the rest, one member is in jail. “Azam Khan and son did not attend but their support is with us. Shivpal Yadav and two other MLAs are in touch with us and likely to vote for us,” said sources.
At least seven legislators close to Shivpal Yadav had voted in favour of the BJP’s nominee Ram Nath Kovind in last year’s presidential elections.
The BJP is trying its best to defeat Mayawati’s candidate by backing a western UP businessman, Anil Agarwal, on a seat the BSP could have won otherwise. With the BJP putting up a fight, there are chances of cross voting and even horse trading in UP.
The BJP also has a meeting this evening of all its lawmakers and Rajya Sabha candidates.
Since yesterday, Amit Shah has made winning moves – he was able to persuade an upset ally in UP to fall back in line and get his four lawmakers to support the BJP candidate for Rajya Sabha. And today, an Amit Shah role was seen in the absence of seven lawmakers from the Samajwadi Party meeting.