Other States

Akhilesh defends support for Independent RS nominee

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav during a press conference in Lucknow. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday said his party had supported the nomination of an independent candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh to expose the tacit understanding between the BSP and the BJP.

The SP supported the nomination of independent candidate Prakash Bajaj — his papers were, however, eventually rejected — to necessitate voting and show people how the BSP and BJP “chupchaap, andar se mile hue hai (are tacitly working together),” said the former Chief Minister.

Mr. Yadav’s remarks come two days after BSP chief Mayawati accused his party of trying to lure her MLAs and vowed to ensure the defeat of the SP candidates in the upcoming MLC polls — even if it meant that her party would vote for the BJP nominees — for attempting to thwart her nominee’s entry into the Upper House of Parliament.

Ten seats need to be filled for the Rajya Sabha from U.P. While the BJP declared eight candidates, the SP nominated one. The BSP, despite being short on numbers, also nominated a candidate, leading to allegations by the SP that it was colluding with the BJP to ensure smooth sailing for its nominee. Then in a twist, Prakash Bajaj, who hails from a business family, filed his nomination at the last minute as an Independent, making it 11 candidates for 10 seats. However, while the BSP nominee Ramji Gautam’s papers were accepted, Mr. Bajaj’s were rejected.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of an event in Lucknow, Mr. Yadav asserted that “those who were colluding with BJP tacitly have been exposed” by the episode.

Mr. Yadav also took a dig at the BJP and said the party “could enter into any alliance”.

A year after long-time rivals SP and BSP came together for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the two parties have entered a new phase of acrimony as the State heads towards the local bodies election.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 11:27:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/akhilesh-defends-support-for-independent-rs-nominee/article32991494.ece

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