New Delhi: Actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan will be the Samajwadi Party’s candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections from the state of Uttar Pradesh, sources said. The seats of 6 Samajwadi Party MPs and one MP each from BSP, Congress and BJP will fall vacant in April 2018. In addition to this, the seat vacated by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati in July 2017 has also been lying vacant ever since. In all, 10 seats will be up for grabs from UP this year.
Samajwadi Party sources said that party chose Bachchan over senior party leader Naresh Aggarwal, who is one of the MPs whose term is about to end this April. According to reports, this was done to placate the faction led by SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav, who is said to be upset with Aggarwal for allegedly “colluding” with the BJP.
Bachchan is a three-time MP, who was first elected to the Rajya Sabha by the Samajwadi Party in 2004. She remained a member till March 2006, before being elected to the Upper House again in June of 2006. She was re-elected for a third term in 2012.
10 seats from Uttar Pradesh will be vacant in 2018 and the BJP will be in a comfortable position. A candidate from UP will require the support of 37 MLAs. With 325 MLAs in 403-member assembly, BJP is assured of at least 8 seats. The Samajwadi Party (SP), with its 47 MLAs will be able to send a single member to the Upper House.
However, SP faces the risk of losing that position, if the factionalism within the party threatens to divide votes. It may then require the help of its alliance partner Congress (7 MLAs). The Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (19 MLAs) will not be in a position to elect even a single MLA, even if they were to join forces. In that eventuality, the BJP will walk away with 9 of the 10 vacant seats. However, if the Congress, BSP and both factions of the SP were to come together, they will be able to elect one more combined member to the Rajya Sabha, reducing the BJP to 8 MPs.
The BSP has already declared that a former MLA of the party, Bhimrao Ambedkar, as their nominee for the Rajya Sabha. Hailing from Etawah, Ambedkar, who shares his name with the Dalit idol, represented Lakhna Assembly constituency.