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BSP announces support for Congress candidate in RS polls in Madhya Pradesh

Upper house elections in Madhya Pradesh has taken an intersting turn with BSP decided to support Congress candidate in upcoming polls on June 11. The Congress party's claims over one of the Rajya Sabha vacancies from Madhya Pradesh received a shot in the arm on Saturday with BSP Supremo Mayawati announcing that her MLAs will support the Congress candidate.This development has given a jolt to the ruling BJP.

The BSP has 4 MLAs in the 230 member MP assembly and their vote was being seen as crucial ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections on June 11. The Congress was one vote short of securing the Rajya Sabha seat. There are 3 vacancies from MP for the Rajya Sabha. While two seats are sure to go to the BJP, a contest is in place for the 3rd seat. The Congress has fielded senior lawyer Vivek Tankha and the BJP general secretary Vinod Gotiya has filed his nomination as a BJP supported independent.

A release from the BSP said that the party can not win a Rajya Sabha seat on its own but will support the Congress candidate to weaken communal forces. Recently, the BSP bailed out the Congress in Uttrakhand as well.

Senior Congress leaders in Delhi had been in talks with the BSP over the issue of support to the Congress candidate. The BSP's decision to support the Congress also seems to have been dictated by the upcoming assembly elections in UP as well where the party would not like to be seen hobnobbing with the BJP.

In the 230 member MP assembly, the BJP has 166 MLAs, the Congress has 57, the BSP has 4 and independents account for 3 seats. Each candidate needs 58 votes to succeed. While Anil Dave and MJ Akbar, the official BJP candidates would elected safely, the BJP still has 50 votes with it. With 3 independents supporting the BJP, the BJP needed another 5 votes for ensuring victory for the independent candidate. However, with the BSP pledging support to the Congress candidate, the Congress now is home and dry with 61 votes unless of course there is cross voting.