RLD MLAs to vote for BJP in RS polls, attend CM Yogi’s meeting on Monday

Lucknow: Even before a formal announcement of the BJP-Rashtriya Lok Dal pact is made, the RLD has said that all its nine MLAs in Uttar Pradesh will not only vote for the BJP candidates in the Rajya Sabha elections but will also attend a meeting called by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath here on Monday.

RLD Legislature Party Chief Rajpal Baliyan said,“Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has convened a meeting of BJP allies’ legislature parties in Lucknow on February 26 at 11 a.m. possibly to discuss the strategy for voting in the Rajya Sabha elections the next day and we will attend the same.”

All nine RLD MLAs will meet their party chief Jayant Chaudhary in Mathura on Sunday.

Baliyan also said, “There was no truth in the reports about dissent in the party and all our MLAs will vote for the BJP candidates.”

Reports of dissent among the RLD MLAs came after reports that the SP was trying to garner support of three RLD MLAs, who were earlier in the Samajwadi Party and still have a good rapport with Akhilesh Yadav.

The absence of three RLD MLAs from the recent Ayodhya trip organised by the government for all MLAs to have ‘darshan’ of the Ram temple added to such speculation.

Jayant Chaudhary, however, demolished reports about dissent among his MLAs when he released photographs of all nine MLAs seen at his Delhi residence.

The RLD MLAs hold the key to the victory of the BJP’s eighth candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls to fill the 10 seats from the state.

Based on their strength in the UP Assembly, both the ruling BJP and the main opposition SP will have no problem in winning seven and three Rajya Sabha seats, respectively.

However, the entry of Sanjay Seth, as the BJP’s eighth candidate in the fray has necessitated voting for the 10th seat as there are 11 contestants now.

Even if the BJP gets all the votes of the MLAs belonging to its existing allies (minus RLD’s nine MLAs), the ruling party, it is said, may fall short of the numbers to get its eighth candidate elected.

The SP, on the other hand, may fall short of two votes to get its third candidate elected even after the two Congress MLAs vote in favour of the SP candidate.

Ever since Jayant Chaudhary hinted at returning to the BJP-led NDA saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “won his heart” by conferring the Bharat Ratna on his grandfather and the former Prime Minister, late Chaudhary Charan Singh, the BJP is now in a relatively comfortable position in the Rajya Sabha elections.

IANS

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