With ruling Samajwadi Party and opposition BSP declaring an additional candidate each, there are apprehensions of horse trading during the upcoming election for 12 Uttar Pradesh legislative council seats.The state Assembly has 403 members and first preference votes of 31 MLAs would be needed to ensure victory of one candidate for the Upper House. SP, with 230 MLAs, is expected to have a smooth sailing in seven seats. With 13 surplus votes with it, SP is contesting an additional seat, apparently expecting cross-voting to make up for the remaining votes. BSP has 80 MLAs and it will easily manage to win two seats. But with just 18 votes more, it would require support from 13 MLAs from outside to ensure victory of its third candidate.BJP, on the other hand, has 41 MLAs and can ensure victory of only one candidate, leaving a surplus of 10 votes. Congress with 28 MLAs will have to arrange for three more votes to ensure that its candidate makes it to the Upper House. Smaller parties like RLD with 8 MLAs, Peace Party (4 MLAs), Quami Ekta Dal (2), and NCP, Etehad-e-Millat Council and Trinmool Congress (with one MLA each) besides six Independents will play a crucial role in deciding the fate of the twelfth candidate in case of voting.SP has declared names of Ramesh Yadav, Ahmad Hasan, Ramjatan Rajbhar, Sahab Singh Saini, Ashok Bajpai, Virendra Singh Gurjar, Sarojini Agarwal and Ashu Malik. BSP has fielded Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Dharmveer Ashok and Pradeep. Congress and BJP are yet to declare the names of their candidates.Filing of nomination begins on Tuesday for the polling on January 23. The final picture will emerge on Jaunary 16, the last date of withdrawal. Among the 12 retiring members whose term will come to an end on January 30, seven are from BSP, three from SP and two from BJP. BSP has 59 members in the 100-strong UP Legislative Council, while SP has 21. BJP has seven, Congress two and RLD one member in the Upper House. While two seats are vacant, nine MLCs represent the apolitical teachers’ quota and four belong to the Independent group.Meanwhile, BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya expressed confidence that the third BSP candidate will also sail through. “The third candidate has assured the party that he is in touch with the Independents and other parties who have not fielded their candidates,” Maurya said. “He has assured the party that he would get through if the party president gives him ticket,” he added.SP too is confident of getting all its candidate elected to the upper house. “There will be no horse trading during the polls from SP side. We have enough strength and support. You will come to know about it soon,” SP leader C P Rai said


Horse trading fears rife in UP legislative council polls