R.S. elections: Amar Singh is SP’s ‘unanimous’ choice

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 17, 2016

Amar Singh

Triggers speculation about return to party; Beni Prasad Verma also among nominees

The Samajwadi Party on Tuesday nominated the high-profile Amar Singh as its candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls from Uttar Pradesh, paving the way for his return to the party six years after he was expelled.

Along with Amar Singh, the SP’s Parliamentary Board nominated six others, including former Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma, an influential Kushwaha leader who recently quit Congress and returned to the SP, and also controversial realtor Sanjay Seth for the biennial polls scheduled next month.

A candidate for the Rajya Sabha elections from UP will need the support of 37 MLAs for a win. As per the existing strength of different parties in the 403-member State Assembly, SP (with 227 MLAs) will be able to get six nominees elected to the Rajya Sabha, the BSP 2, and the BJP 1. Of the nine seats falling vacant, BSP has six and SP three.

Mulayam’s call

Although the SP claimed the decision to nominate Amar Singh was “unanimous”, sources said there were three dissenting voices in the party’s top decision-making body. The dissenters included the powerful MLA Azam Khan, veteran Ram Gopal Yadav and Kiranmoy Nanda.

Sources said a divided division led to the parliamentary board leaving the final decision to party supremo Mulayam Singh , who was expected to announce it later. However, consultations between Mulayam and his brother Shivpal Yadav resulted in simultaneous announcement of Singh with six others.

‘No time-frame for entry’

On a timeline for Amar Singh’s official entry into the SP, Shivpal did not give a straight answer. “It will be decided by Netaji (Mulayam) and Amar Singh. We have earlier also sent Congress leaders Pramod Tiwari and PL Punia to Rajya Sabha,” he said.

Along with his close associate, Jaya Prada, Amar Singh was expelled from the SP in February 2010. He floated his own political party, the Rashtriya Lok Manch, in 2011, and fielded a large number of candidates in the 2012 Assembly polls. However, none of them won. He then joined Rashtriya Lok Dal and contested the 2014 Lok Sabha poll from Fatehpur Sikri but lost.

Published on May 17, 2016
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