Former SP leader Neeraj Shekhar files nomination for Rajya Sabha bypoll as BJP candidate, set to be re-elected unopposed

Former Samajwadi Party leader and Akhilesh Yadavs close aide Neeraj Shekhar on Wednesday filed his nomination papers as a BJP candidate for Rajya Sabha bypoll from Uttar Pradesh. He is all set to be re-elected unopposed, credit the brute majority BJP enjoys in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. The BJP has 300 MLAs and enjoys the support of 10 more MLAs. The Samajwadi Party and BSP have 47 and 18 MLAs, respectively. No one trusts the SP leadership now. Everyone knows that after the Lok Sabha polls, the leadership is itself in grief and does not want to work on ground, Neeraj told reporters after filing his papers in the presence of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP state unit Swatantra Dev Singh and other senior party leaders. He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah and said that he will try to strengthen the party. When asked why opposition members are joining the BJP, Neeraj said, PM Modi works with full dedication. And, that is why everyone trusts him. Neeraj is the son of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar. He hails from Ballia district. He had quit the Samajwadi Party last month and resigned from the Rajya Sabha seat as well. He later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. Interestingly, senior Samajwadi Party leaders, including MLC Ravi Shankar Singh Pappu who is a close relative of Neeraj, were present as he submitted his nomination papers. Ravi Shankar Singh alias Pappu, when contacted, said he had gone there as a family member. For me, the family is above party politics, he said. The bypoll was necessitated due to Neerajs resignation from Rajya Sabha. The term of the seat is up to November 25, 2020. No other candidate has filed nomination, Principal Secretary, UP Assembly, Pradeep Dubey said. Wednesday was the last day of filing of papers for the August 26 Rajya Sabha bypoll. Scrutiny will be done on August 16 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is August 19.