New Delhi; SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday tried to bring Mayawati’s old rivals like Raja Bhaiyya and Shivpal Yadav on the side of the SP-BSP combine ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls.
Akhilesh, who has to repay his part of the deal to Mayawati after the bypoll victory, tried to convince these people to back Mayawati or at least vote for SP candidate Jaya Bachchan so that the party can transfer votes of some of its MLAs to BSP candidate. Raja Bhaiyya and Shivpal Yadav attended a dinner hosted by Akhilesh for MLAs on Wednesday, where Raja Bhaiyya was seated next to Bachchan.
“I was with Akhilesh and will remain with him,” Raja Bhaiyya said. “Both the candidates (of SP and of BSP) will win. All of us are together,” Shivpal Yadav said.
Votes of Raja Bhaiyya and another independent candidate loyal to him, Vinod Kumar, are crucial for the SP-BSP combine as Mayawati is short by at least 2 MLA votes to get her sole candidate elected to Rajya Sabha .
Raja Bhaiyya was jailed under POTA by Mayawati when she was CM in 2003; his palace was raided and she had accused him of trying to assassinate her.
Needing 37 votes to get her candidate elected to the Rajya Sabha, she currently has 19 MLAs of her own, 9 MLAs from SP (after 37 SP MLAs vote to elect Bachchan) and 7 from the Congress.
Shivpal Yadav had congratulated Akhilesh after the bypoll wins and said that the SP-BSP tie-up should have happened much earlier. “He has congratulated me, now I hope he will vote for us,” Akhilesh had said recently. Shivpal was once accused by Mayawati of being one of the conspirators of the UP guest house attack on her in 1995.
Another independent candidate, Amanmani Tripathi, may go with the BJP. His father, Amarmani Tripathi was sacked as a BSP minister and jailed in Mayawati’s regime after poetess Madhumita Shukla’s murder.