Samajwadi Party senior leader Mohammad Azam Khan and party MLA Shivpal Singh Yadav stayed away from the meeting called by party president Akhilesh Yadav to finalise the strategy for the presidential election.
The SP and its allies have decided to support joint opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha in the presidential election.
The SP and its allies have 125 MLAs which includes 111 of SP, eight of Rashtriya Lok Dal and six of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party.
The members of the legislature council are not in the electoral college for the election of the president of India.
Besides, the SP and its allies have five MPs in Rajya Sabha and three in the Lok Sabha. If the SP wins the by-elections to Rampur and Azamgarh parliamentary constituencies, the number of its MPs will increase to five in the Lok Sabha. The total value of votes of MLAs and MPs of SP and its allies is 26,000.
The term of President Ram Nath Kovind ends on July 18, 2022. Members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha and MLAs of the state assemblies constitute the electoral college of the presidential election. Each MP carries a vote value of 708, which is based on a pre-decided formula. The vote value of each MLA varies as per a state’s population (1971 Census) and the number of seats in assembly. This is where UP is vital as each of its MLA carries a value of 208, the highest, as opposed to a mere seven for an MLA in Sikkim.
The SP faces a tough task of keeping its flock together in the presidential election. Its ally, Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party leader Om Prakash Rajbhar, is particularly sulking over the denial of ticket to his son for the recently concluded UP Legislative Council election. Shivpal Yadav, the estranged uncle of Akhilesh Yadav, is another party legislator giving jitters to the SP president.
Yashwant Sinha, a leader of Trinamool Congress, was proposed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the consensus presidential candidate of the opposition.