In a rebuff to Amar Singh and in an attempt to refurbish its anti-woman image, the Samajwadi Party on Wednesday decided to nominate Jaya Bachchan for a second term in the Rajya Sabha. The election to fill 11 vacancies from UP is scheduled for June 17.
The SP chose Jaya over veterans like Brij Bhushan Tewari who, like her is retiring on July 4, and party spokesman Mohan Singh. Jaya Bachchan is the only woman MP of the SP and she had stood by the party when others like Lok Sabha member Jaya Prada preferred to side with Amar Singh in his spat with the party. Jaya Bachchan toed the party line in spite of Singh having brought her to the SP and the family’s good relations with him.
The SP also announced the RS candidature of Rasheed Masood, a veteran socialist. The SP can currently ensure the victory of only two candidates, even though as many as seven of the outgoing members belong to the party.
State SP president Akhilesh Yadav, while announcing the candidates, said, “Jaya Bachchan has been a dedicated worker of the party who contributed a lot in building the party and the party is happy in renominating her for a second term in the Rajya Sabha”.
Welcoming Jaya’s nomination Brij Bhushan Tewari said, “The party ticket is not a matter of right, its the sole discretion of the leadership of the party and we abide by it”. The Rajya Sabha members from UP retiring on July 4 are Kamal Akhtar, Nand KishoreYadav, Jaya Bachchan, Bhagwati Singh, Ram Narayan Sahu, Amir Alam Khan and Brij Bhushan Tewari (SP); Ambeth Rajan, Satish Chandra Mishra and Sri Ram Pal (BSP) and Arun Shourie of BJP.