MP BJP eyes second Rajya Sabha seat

Deccan Chronicle.  | Rabindra Nath Choudhury

Nation, Current Affairs

May field Uma or Shivraj, woo Cong MLAs to unsettle the govt.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Bhopal: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is working on a strategy to win two out of three Rajya Sabha seats, going to the biennial polls in Madhya Pradesh on March 26, to unsettle the Kamal Nath government.

The party was weighing options of fielding either of the former chief ministers, Mr Shivraj Singh Chouhan or Ms Uma Bharti,  as its second candidate in the elections to win the seat for the party by engineering cross-voting in the ruling Congress, a senior BJP functionary disclosed to this newspaper here on Friday.

“BJP is toying with idea of dealing a jolt to the Kamal Nath government by winning two RS seats. The victory of second candidate by the BJP will raise questions on stability of the Congress government,” he said, requesting anonymity.

The tenures of BJP MPs Prabhat Jha and Satyanarayan Jatia and Congress MP Digvijay Singh in the Upper House are ending on April 9, necessitating the March 26 biennial elections in the state.

Given the arithmetic, the Congress and the BJP are in a comfortable position to send one candidate each to the RS. The saffron party fancies chances of winning the third vacant seat by wooing some Congress and independent MLAs.

It will take 58 first-preference votes to win.

The effective strength of MP Assembly has come down to 228 now owing to recent death of two sitting MLAs. While the Congress has 114 MLAs, BJP has 107.

The Kamal Nath government is supported by two Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs, one Samajwadi Party (SP) legislator and four Independents.

“The party sees an opportunity to win the second RS seat given the current position of parties. That is why we are weighing options of fielding one of the two veteran leaders, either Mr Chouhan or Ms Bharti, to win the second seat”, the BJP leader said.

According to him, BJP was not thinking much about its prospective first RS candidate in Madhya Pradesh. The party was busy exploring the possibility of winning the second RS seat.

When contacted, BJP spokesman Rajneesh Agrawal said, the central election committee will take the final call on RS nominations. A Congress spokesman exuded confidence that the ruling party would comfortably win two seats.

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