Lucknow, Oct 18: Rebel Samajwadi Party MLA Nitin Agarwal was elected to the post of Deputy Speaker of the UP Assembly on Monday with support from the BJP while the official SP candidate Narendra Varma lost.
Agarwal got 304 votes while Varma got only 60 votes. A total of 368 votes were cast while the assembly strength is 403.
Shivpal Yadav and Om Prakash Rajbhar were absent during the voting while Congress boycotted the election.
Nitin Agarwal, a second-term MLA, is the son of former minister Naresh Agarwal and had joined ranks with the BJP in 2018. The SP had filed a disqualification petition against him but the same was rejected by the Speaker.
The election of the Deputy Speaker on Monday was marred by allegations as the Samajwadi Party repeatedly sought postponement of the election, terming it as against democratic norms.
Leader of opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary alleged that the post of Deputy Speaker traditionally belongs to the opposition but the ruling BJP had decided on the candidate without taking the opposition into confidence.
He said that the SP candidate had got votes in excess of its strength (49) in the assembly while the BJP-led coalition had got votes less than its declared strength.
Meanwhile, the Congress, on Monday, decided to boycott the poll, accusing the ruling BJP of attempting to divert attention from the various problems plaguing Uttar Pradesh by going in for election for the post of Deputy Speaker when the duration of the assembly was barely a few months left.
The party also alleged that both the BJP and SP were involved in a friendly fight and were more keen on the election and not on discussing the various raging issues facing the state.
UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu told reporters, “Neither the BJP nor the Samajwadi Party want to ensure justice for farmers killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence or to discuss this important issue. They are into a friendly fight and so we are boycotting the Deputy Speaker’s election and sitting on a dharna.”