Union Minister Piyush Goyal in Lucknow to fine-tune the strategy, BJP alloting two extra MLAs to its first eight candidates including its senior MLAs to Arun Jaitley, Anil Jain and GVL Narsimha Rao and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath personally speaking to each MLA repeatedly to ensure there was no slip-up this is said to have been ingrediants of the perfect plan that tilted the scales in the favour of the BJP on the 9 seats in the Rajya Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh.
BJP allotted 39 MLAs apiece to its first eight candidates though it needed only 37 to make them win. That left only 12 MLAs of the NDA (which has 324 MLAs) for BJPs ninth candidate, Anil Agrawal but BJP made sure he sailed through by the second preference votes cast enmasse for him by the 324 NDA MLAs.
“No chances were taken for the first eight candidates as we did not want any invalid votes to mar our chances,” a senior UP BJP leader told. Senior MLAs were alloted to the three prominent candidates, Arun Jaitley, GVL Narsimha Rao and Anil Jain, as a further precautionary measure. Each candidate was also allotted a senior Minister who ensured the allotted MLAs cast their vote for their enmarked candidate senior UP minister Satish Mahana for example oversaw the MLAs who voted for Arun Jaitley.
Senior Union Minister Piyush Goyal was sent to Lucknow on Thursday to strategise the moves along with CM Yogi Adityanath and both leaders remained in close touch with all MLAs to ensure they voted as per the plan. Goyal supervised a mock voting drill of all NDA MLAs on Thursday as many of them were first-time MLAs. BJP also succeeded in getting three upper-caste MLAs outside its camp to vote for its ninth candidate, Anil Agrawal who ultimately got 16 first preference votes instead of 12 alloted for him by NDA.
Nishad party MLA Vijay Mishra, Independent MLA Amanmani Tripathi and BSP MLA Anil Singh voted for BJPs Anil Agrawal. Independent MLA Vinod Saroj may have voted for Agrawal too. Saroj is loyal to independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh who said he voted for SPs Jaya Bachchan but went after voting to meet Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
“We knew the BSP candidate will not reach 37 vote mark as one of that party’s MLA was cross voting for us while one BSP and one SP MLA were denied permission to come out of jail and vote. The BSP candidate ultimately got only 32 first preference votes. Our strategy focussed on getting our ninth candidate to win by second preference votes – and it fell perfectly as per plan,” a UP BJP leader said.