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Action will be taken against such MLAs: Akhilesh Yadav on cross-voting concerns as SP chief whip quits

LUCKNOW: Amid concerns over cross-voting and the party chief whip quitting while polling was underway in the Rajya Sabha elections, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav Tuesday warned action will be taken against such MLAs.

The SP’s chief whip in state Assembly Manoj Pandey quit the party on Tuesday, the jolt coming a day after he and seven other MLAs skipped a meeting called by Yadav, raising concerns about cross-voting by some SP legislators during the voting for 10 Rajya Sabha seats from the state.

”Those who wanted to profit from the situation will go. Those who were given assurances (by the BJP) will go,” Yadav told reporters at the assembly before casting his vote. Action will be taken against such MLAs, he said. ”The BJP can adopt all tricks to win elections. It must have given assurance (to some MLAs) of some profit… BJP will do anything to win,” he added.

”Those who don’t have the courage to fight will go. Some might have been afraid for their security, some might have been threatened or promised something,” the SP president said.

The BJP has fielded eight candidates and the opposition SP three for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats for which voting was held on Tuesday.

The BJP and the SP have the numbers to send seven and three members, respectively, to the Upper House of Parliament but with the BJP fielding Sanjay Seth as its eighth candidate, a keen contest was ensured.

”Our third seat was actually a test to identify the true friends and to know who was with the PDA at heart and who was against the backward classes, Dalits and minorities by their ‘antaratma’ (conscience). Now everything is clear, this is the victory of the third seat,” Yadav said in a post on X.

The PDA is the acronym given by Yadav for ‘pichhde’, ‘Dalit’ and ‘alpsankhyak’ (backwards, Dalits and minorities) ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

In a swipe at the ruling party, Yadav said, ”Those who put spikes in someone else’s path or dig holes for others will pay the price themselves.” ”You have seen what happened in Chandigarh in front of CCTV cameras. I thank the Supreme Court which saved the Constitution,” he said.

Sanjay Seth, an industrialist and former SP leader, joined the BJP in 2019. Any cross-voting from SP leaders could get Seth elected.

The BJP and the SP are the two largest parties in the 403-member state assembly with 252 and 108 MLAs, respectively. The Congress, an alliance partner of the SP, has two seats.

BJP ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) has 13 seats, the NISHAD Party has six seats, RLD has nine, SBSP six, Jansatta Dal Loktantrik two and the BSP has one seat. Four seats are currently vacant.

The seven other candidates fielded by the BJP are former Union minister R P N Singh, former MP Chaudhary Tejveer Singh, general secretary of the party’s UP unit Amarpal Maurya, former state minister Sangeeta Balwant, party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, former MLA Sadhna Singh and former Agra mayor Naveen Jain.

The SP has fielded actor-MP Jaya Bachchan, retired IAS officer Alok Ranjan and Dalit leader Ramji Lal Suman.

To get elected to the Rajya Sabha from UP, a candidate needs 37 first preference votes, an official said.

Source: Press Trust of India

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