The Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council will remain without a leader of Opposition (LoP) as the Samajwadi Party (SP) failed to win any of the five graduate and teachers’ seats for which the election results were declared on Friday.
The BJP won four of the five seats. One seat went to an independent. Polling was held on January 30. The post has remained vacant since July 6, 2022, a first after 1954.
The Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council secretariat, by an order on July 6 last year, divested the Samajwadi Party of the post of leader of Opposition.
The order said the the party’s position in the Council had fallen short of 10, the minimum number of members that the largest opposition party in House should have to claim the leader of Opposition post.
The position of the then leader of Opposition in the Council Lal Bihari Yadav was derecognised.
Lal Bihari Yadav, who took over the post in May 2022, had protested and even moved court. In October, the Allahabad high court dismissed the writ plea moved by Yadav, challenging the Uttar Pradesh government notification derecognising him as leader of Opposition in the Council.
The Samajwadi Party continues to have nine members in the Council. The BJP’s tally will go up to 79 from 75 in the 100-member Council after Friday’s result.
The BJP won the Gorakhpur-Faizabad, Bareilly-Moradabad, and Kanpur graduate seats as well as the Allahabad-Jhansi teachers’ seat. An independent candidate won the Kanpur teachers’ seat.
The Samajwadi Party had given charge of the election campaign to the party’s state president Naresh Uttam Patel.
Even on the polling day on January 30, the SP had alleged that the BJP left no stone unturned to influence the elections by misusing the administrative machinery.
AKHILESH CRIES FOUL
After the election results on Friday, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, in a statement, said that the BJP engaged in dishonesty and then congratulated itself on it.
“This is not the first (such) elections, earlier too (such) elections happened. ‘Prices were fixed’ in zila panchayat polls, in block pramukh polls, many (SP) candidates were not allowed to file their nomination papers. In these MLC polls, the DMs, SPs, and district administration contested the polls. Voters were not allowed to exercise their franchise,” he claimed.