"The party has decided not to field its candidate in Council election," chairman of UP Congress Committee communications department Satyadev Tripathi said.

"We have taken support of SP on two Rajya Sabha seats. Besides, we have to stop communal forces from horsetrading," he added.

Tripathi said that SP was capable of winning seven seats on its own, but it has fielded eight candidates.

"We do not have required numbers and RLD also is not helping therefore also we have decided to withdraw," he said.

The UPCC leader said that AICC general secretary and UP incharge Madhusudan Mistry had announced that the party will field its own candidate and not support anyone else, but the fresh decision has been taken keeping in view the current situation and the high command has been informed about it.

Congress with 28 MLAs in the Assembly needed outside support of three MLAs to ensure victory of its candidate.

With Congress deciding not to field a candidate, all 12 members are likely to be elected unopposed provided BJP do not field two candidates.

SP and BSP have already announced eight and three candidates respectively. Polling would become imminent if BJP decides to field two candidates.

SP with 230 MLAs is expected to have a smooth sailing in seven Council seats.

Keeping in mind its 13 surplus votes, SP is contesting an additional seat and it may bank on the support of the MLAs from Congress side.

BSP with 80 MLAs will easily manage two seats, but with a surplus of 18 votes, it would require support from 13 MLAs from outside to ensure victory of its third candidate.

BSP's national General Secretary Naseemuddin Siddiqui had claimed support of MLAs of smaller parties, which are not contesting the election.

BJP, on the other hand, has 41 MLAs and can ensure victory of only candidate, leaving a surplus of 10 votes.

Smaller parties like RLD with 8 MLAs, Peace Party (4 MLAs), Quami Ekta Dal (2), and NCP, Etehad-e-Millat Council and Trinamool Congress (with one MLA each) besides six Independents could play a crucial role in deciding the fate of the twelfth candidate in case of voting.

SP has declared names of Ramesh Yadav, Ahmad Hasan, Ramjatan Rajbhar, Sahab Singh Saini, Ashok Bajpai, Virendra Singh Gurjar, Sarojini Agarwal and Ashu Malik.

BSP has fielded Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Dharmveer Ashok and Pradeep. BJP is yet to declare the name of its candidate.

Among the 12 retiring members whose term will come to an end on January 30, seven are from BSP, three from SP and two from BJP.

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