Mayawati asks Akhilesh Yadav for 10 votes of ‘dedicated’ SP MLAs

Mayawati asks Akhilesh Yadav for 10 votes of ‘dedicated’ SP MLAs
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Lucknow: The former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati on Wednesday asked SP president Akhilesh Yadav to allot 10 “dedicated” SP MLAs to vote for BSP candidate Bhim Rao Ambedkar in the Rajya Sabha elections, scheduled for March 23. Her close sources said that Mayawati asked Yadav to allot only ‘khaanti’ (dedicated) legislators who would not cross-vote in favour of BJP.

BSP leader’s demand is a result of a massive win in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, that BSP-SP witnessed in UP by-elections. Her ‘return-gift’ demand could create an issue for SP candidate Jaya Bachchan if cross-voting happens by some of the remaining 37 SP MLAs in favour of BJP, including Naresh Agarwal’s son Nitin.

With 47 MLAs, SP can distribute 10 MLA votes for BSP only when its own candidate Jaya Bachchan is placed. If Nitin votes for BJP, Yadav will have to choose between Jaya and Ambedkar. Whereas, Mayawati with 19 votes will rely on the support of SP’s 10 and Congress’s seven MLAs, besides one from RLD.

“The RS elections could be a test for a prospective SP-BSP alliance. If SP falters in giving its support to ensure a win for the BSP nominee, it would only embarrass Mayawati and put the prospective SP-BSP alliance on the edge,” said political expert JP Shukla.