All 13 U.P. nominations for Rajya Sabha polls found valid

Lucknow: The papers of all the 13 candidates -- who had filed nominations for 10 Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh -- were found valid on Saturday.

Scrutiny, which remained a low key affair, began around 11 a.m., and was completed in little over one-and-half hours.

Principal Secretary (Legislative Assembly) R.P. Pandey, who is also the returning officer for the polls, confirmed that all the nominations were found valid.

The biennial polls are slated on March 28.

Similarly for 13 Legislative Council seats, 15 candidates had filed nominations. The scrutiny for their nominations was held later on Saturday evening. Candidates can withdraw papers on March 20.

Janeshwar Mishra, Banwari Lal Kanchal, Veerpal Singh, Virendra Bhatia, Mahendra Mohan Gupta (all Samajwadi Party), Maulana Mahmood Madni (RLD) and Azad Kumar Kardam (Congress) filed their nominations for the Rajya Sabha on Friday -- the last date for filing nominations.

BJP candidates Kalraj Mishra and Vinay Katiyar along with industrialist Sudanshu (independent) had filed their Rajya Sabha nominations on Thursday.

The industrialist is reported to have close links with top BJP leaders at the Centre.

Polling would take place on March 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and counting of votes would be taken up thereafter.

The ruling Samajwadi Party, with the help of its allies Rashtriya Lok Dal and other smaller parties, is set to win six out of the 10 Rajya Sabha seats, while the BJP and BSP aim at cornering two seats each.

As per the Assembly strength, the SP and its allies have 235 members SP-194, RLD-15, CPI (M)-2, Loktantrik Congress-2, Akhil Bharatiya Congress-1, Unattached-5 and Independents (16), while the BJP has 83, BSP 67 and Congress 16. One seat is vacant.

A candidate has to get 37 first preference votes for winning the Rajya Sabha elections.

Similarly, in the 13 Council seats at stake, the ruling alliance stands to win eight seats, while the BJP and BSP can take away two seats each. For winning the council seat, a candidate has to secure 29 first preference votes.