Lucknow: The ruling BJP may soon have more reasons to smile in Uttar Pradesh as it is all set to increase its tally in the biennial elections for the Rajya Sabha scheduled in April and in the UP Legislative Council where 13 seats are falling vacant.
In the 245 member Upper House of Parliament, Uttar Pradesh has 31 seats being the most populous state in the country.
Nine Rajya Sabha seats are due to fall vacant in Uttar Pradesh in April.
The seats are held by Naresh Agarwal, Jaya Bachchan, Kiranmay Nanda, Chaudhary Munwar Saleem, Alok Tiwari and Darshan Singh Yadav (all SP), Munquad Ali (BSP), Pramod Tiwari (Congress) and Vinay Katiyar (BJP). Their term ends on 2 April.
With the BJP and its allies storming to power in the state in the 2017 Assembly elections, the saffron party is set to wrest a lion’s share of these seats in the Council of State, as the Rajya Sabha is known.
In the 403 member Assembly, the BJP and its allies have 325 seats, followed by the Samajwadi Party 47 MLAs, the BSP 19, the Congress 7 and the RLD only one.
It is still too early to say whether the opposition parties will put up a joint candidate so as not to fritter away their votes.
BSP supremo Mayawati does not appear to be in a mood to strike any quick pre-poll deal and her party went it alone in the recent elections in the state, the latest being the civic polls.
Though the SP and the Congress had fought the Assembly elections jointly, they went solo in the later polls and even in the civic body elections.
Likewise, 13 seats will fall vacant in the UP Legislative Council.
Among the MLCs whose terms are coming to an end on 5 May are Akhilesh Yadav, former UP Chief Minister and national president of SP, Umar Ali Khan, Naresh Chandra Uttam, Madhu Gupta, Rajendra Chaudhary, Ramsakal Gurjar and Dr Vijay Yadav.
MLCs from other parties whose term ends on 5 May are Dr Vijay Pratap and Sunil Kumar Chittor (both BSP), Dr Mahendra Kumar Singh and Mohsin Raza (both BJP) and Chaudhary Mushtaq the lone RLD member. Another seat, which has been vacated by former SP minister Ambika Chaudhary will also go to the poll.
Both Singh and Raza are ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government. Dr Mahendra Singh is a minister of state (independent charge) Rural Development and Overall Village Development, while Mohsin Raza is a minister of state Science and Technology, Electronics, Information Technology, Muslim Waqf and Haj.
In the 100-member 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.
Though the BJP is poised to wrest a majority of the seats falling vacant, it still might not give the party the required strength in the Legislative Council to push bills and get them passed.