Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is not sending ally Jayant Chaudhary to the Rajya Sabha on his party's ticket, sources said today. Of the three upper house seats that the party has, nominations for two have already been filed. Former Union Minister Kapil Sibal, who revealed today that he has quit the Congress party, filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate supported by the Samajwadi Party. Javed Ali Khan has also filed his nomination from the party.
The third seat might go to party leader Dimple Yadav, who is also Akhilesh Yadav's wife.
Sources say Mr Yadav had promised to send Jayant Chaudhary to the Rajya Sabha. Mr Yadav wanted him in the upper house under the Samajwadi Party's banner but Mr Chaudhary insisted on going as his own party Rashtriya Lok Dal's candidate with support from the Samajwadi Party.
The Samajwadi Party's move to support Mr Sibal is seen as a quid pro quo after his efforts as party MP Azam Khan's lawyer.
Mr Sibal had represented Azam Khan in the Supreme Court. Azam Khan was released on interim bail by the Supreme Court after two years in prison.
The Rajya Sabha elections next month will include 11 Uttar Pradesh seats. Overall, the election for 57 seats, spanning 15 states, will be held on June 10.
The BJP, which recently returned to power in the politically crucial state with a massive win, is set to maintain its dominance in the upper house by occupying around 80 per cent of the total seats.
UP sends 31 MPs to the upper house, 11 of them are set to retire on July 4. This will include five from BJP, three from SP, two from BSP and one from Congress. At present, BJP has a strength of 22, while Samajwadi Party has five. BSP and Congress have three and one each respectively.