Atiq Khan

Ruling party bags 31 of 33 seats from local authority constituencies; SP, Congress get one each

Counting of votes from three constituencies will take place on Thursday

BSP poised to secure absolute majority in Vidhan Parishad which has 100 MLCs

LUCKNOW: The ruling Bahujan Samaj Party swept the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad) elections from the local authority constituencies by winning 31 of the 33 seats the results for which were declared on Wednesday. The Congress and the main Opposition party in the State, the Samajwadi Party, managed to win just one seat each, with the Congress clinching Rae Bareli and the SP Pratapgarh. The Bharatiya Janata Party drew a blank.

The Parishad elections for 35 seats to elect 36 representatives to the Upper House of the State legislature were held this past Thursday. The Mathura-Etah-Mainpuri seat sends two MLCs to the Council.

Counting of votes was held in 32 local bodies’ constituencies on Wednesday. Counting of votes in Aligarh, Bulandshahr and Meerut-Ghaziabad will take place on Thursday.

The BSP juggernaut rolled over the Opposition from eastern UP to western UP. Following its virtually one-sided victory, the BSP is poised to secure an absolute majority in the Vidhan Parishad, which has strength of 100 members. The BSP had 22 MLCs in the Upper House prior to these elections. After winning 31 seats on Wednesday (with the results from three constituencies yet to be declared), the ruling party’s overall strength has crossed 50.

The biggest loser has been the Samajwadi Party. The main Opposition party had 35 members before the January 7 polls. Of these, the term of 21 MLCs who were elected in the last biennial polls from the local bodies constituencies comes to an end on January 15. Thus the effective strength of the SP will now be reduced to 15 (14+1-- Pratapgarh). Notwithstanding its decimation, the SP will remain the largest Opposition party in the Vidhan Parishad.

The SP is followed closely by the BJP, which had 16 MLCs in the House, of whom six will retire on January 15 (they too were elected in the last biennial polls from the local authority constituencies). Since it failed to open its account in the latest polls, the saffron party’s strength would come down to 10.

The Congress has managed to hold on to three MLCs in the House. One of its MLCs’ term ends on Friday, but it has won from Rae Bareli.

Among the BSP winners are all the close relatives of senior BSP ministers and party functionaries. Topping the list is Husna Siddiqui, wife of PWD, Excise, Irrigation and Sugar Industry Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui. Ms. Siddiqui has triumphed in Banda-Hamirpur local bodies constituency. Manoj Kumar Singh, brother of the BSP MLA from Faizabad, Jitendra Singh, who was allegedly involved in the incident of arson at UP Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s residence in Lucknow, has won from Faizabad. The winner from the Lucknow-Unnao constituency, Arvind Kumar Tripathi, is a close relative of BSP Member of Parliament Brijesh Pathak. Annapurna Singh, the BSP winner in Varanasi, is the wife of the jailed mafia don Brijesh Singh.