New Delhi: Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agrawal’s entry into BJP coincides with the saffron party’s move to thwart the united Opposition’s plan to get a BSP nominee elected for the tenth Rajya Sabha seat from Uttar Pradesh.
The SP renominating actress-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan for the lone seat it can win instead of him and decision to support a BSP candidate along with Congress promoted Agrawal, who was once considered close to SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, to switch sides.
An angry Agrawal told reporters at BJP headquarters that his MLA son Nitin would vote for a BJP candidate, as the saffron party fielded Anil Agrawal, the Chairman of HRIT Group of Institutes in Ghaziabad who is considered close to the former Samajwadi Party leader, for a ninth spot.
The expectation in the BJP camp, which does not have enough votes on its own to ensure the victory of a ninth candidate, is that Agrawal can wean away disgruntled elements in the SP to jump ship and embarrass the opposition.
As per existing Assembly strength, BJP can win eight seats out of ten on its own while SP can win one. None can win the tenth seat but if SP, BSP, RLD and Congress come together, they can win. With BSP supporting its candidates in the Lok Sabha bypolls, the SP has returned the favours with Congress also joining it. BSP is supporting Congress candidate in Madhya Pradesh Rajya Sabha polls.
With BJP needing just ten more votes for the Rajya Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP hopes that they could give a jolt to the nascent efforts to forge a unity among opposition parties by defeating BSP candidate Bhim Rao Ambedkar.
Agrawal did not hide his disappointment with SP chief Akhilesh, though he did not name him. While he complained that he was compared with a person who acts and dances in films but said he respects Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ramgopal Yadav and would never say anything against them.
“In the name of alliance, SP is losing the plot. It was with Congress sometimes, with BSP sometimes. SP itself feels that it is nowhere now. SP won 2012 Assembly polls alone. Just see how it is being finished,” he told reporters.
He also made the right noises saying he was influenced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.