Following to the support given by Congress for BSP’s Rajya Sabha candidate, BSP supremo Mayawati yesterday picked former MLA Bhimrao Ambedkar as the party’s nominee for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.
The reason behind that might not be known to many, however, the decision came keeping in mind the stature that Ambedkar holds in BSP. He is a Dalit leader from Uttar Pradesh’s Etawah district and has been with the party since the time of its founder Kanshi Ram.
The biennial elections will be held on March 23 to replace the 58 Rajya Sabha members who are set to retire later this year.
Mayawati is believed to have said at a meeting with MLAs in Lucknow that the Congress has agreed to support BSP’s nominee in the Rajya Sabha elections.
Ambedkar while addressing media said: “I thank honourable behenji [Mayawati] for providing this opportunity to a person like me.”
On Sunday, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister struck a similar deal with the Samajwadi Party. “We have spoken to SP and have decided that we will support their Lok Sabha candidates for the bye-polls in Gorakhpur and Phulpu, and [the] SP will support our Rajya Sabha candidate in return,” said Mayawati.
The terms of the 58 Rajya Sabha members from 16 states expires in April and May. Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of retiring members, at 10, followed by Maharashtra and Bihar (6), Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal (5), Gujarat and Karnataka (4), Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and Rajasthan (3), Jharkhand (2), and Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand (1).