Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday withdrew two of its candidates in the fray for the March 23 Rajya Sabha biennial polls, a party leader said.
The BJP had fielded 11 candidates for the ten Rajya Sabha seats for which elections are to be held, but now decided to withdraw two – Vidya Sagar Sonkar and Salil Bishnoi, said its state unit Vice President J.P.S. Rathore.
Rathore who is also the election management in-charge, also added that now there are only nine official BJP candidates in the fray – Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Ashok Bajpayi, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakaldeep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, G.V.L. Narsimha Rao, Harnath Singh Yadav and Anil Agarwal.
Based on the party’s strength, it can easily sent eight candidates to the upper house of the Parliament while for the ninth candidate to win, it is canvassing for extra votes.
The BJP now also has the support of SP legislator Nitin Agarwal, whose father Naresh Agarwal recently joined the BJP. It reportedly working for support from four independents.
Party leaders were claiming, just two days ago, that they have the arithmetic and ability to get their two extra candidates elected and that the strategy will be disclosed at an appropriate time. The humiliating defeat in Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls however seems to have chastened them a bit and the party decided to withdraw two candidates.
The Bahujan Samaj Party has named old loyalist Bhim Rao Ambedkar as its candidate while the Samajwadi Party has re-nominated actress-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan.