BHOPAL: BJP candidates Jyotiraditya
and Sumer Singh Solanki, and senior Congress leader
on Thursday looked set to sail through on the eve of
election to three seats in
The Congresss other nominee Phool Singh Baraiya, a Dalit leader, however, stands a very slim chance of making it to the upper house of
in the election on Friday.
The BJP has enough MLAs to get elected its two candidates, whereas the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) has asked 54 of its 92 MLAs to cast their first preference vote for Digvijaya. The former chief minister needs 52 votes to get elected to Rajya Sabha for the second consecutive term.
Baraiya, placed after Singh in the pecking order by his party, does not have the numbers on his side to win.
The Dalit leader hails from Gwalior-Chambal region where most of the 24 vacant assembly seats in MP are located. Byelection for vacant seats would have to take place by September. A majority of these seats are dominated by scheduled castes.
The ruling BJP is in a comfortable position for Fridays election, as it has 107 MLAs of its own and enjoys the support of two MLAs of
the Bahujan Samaj Party
(BSP), one MLA of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and two Independents.
The saffron party thus has the support of 112 in the 230-member Assembly whose effective strength is 206. Scindia and Solanki, thus, can get the 52 votes each needed for victory.
Legislators of both the parties were busy holding meetings on Thursday to finalise their strategies for the election. The BJP will hold another meeting at night, party sources said.
Congress MLAs would gather at state unit chief Kamal Naths residence around 8 AM on Friday and go to the Assembly in buses to vote, said a party legislator. This was decided at a meeting at Naths house on Thursday, the MLA added.
The BJP held lunch meetings of groups of legislators. “MLAs from each revenue division held meetings separately,” a party leader said.
The election is significant as Scindia joined the BJP by parting ways with the Congress in March this year. Twenty- two of his supporters also resigned as MLAs, leading to the fall of the Nath government and return of the BJP to power.
A senior BJP leader said if Digvijaya won at the expense of Baraiya, it would benefit the saffron party in Assembly by-elections.
“We are going to tell the public about how Digvijaya Singh snatched away the opportunity of a Dalit to reach the Upper House,” he said.