NEW DELHI: The BJP and Congress clinched four Rajya Sabha seats apiece from Karnataka and Rajasthan on Friday while the counting has been delayed in Maharashtra and Haryana amid allegations of violations.
Elections to 57 Rajya Sabha seats were announced recently. All 41 candidates in Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Telangana, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand were declared elected unopposed last Friday.
This left 16 seats in four states for which elections were necessitated – six in Maharashtra, four each in Karnataka and Rajasthan and two in Haryana.
Here are the results so far:
In Karnataka, the BJP managed to win 3 out of 4 Rajya Sabha seats while the Congress clinched one.
The fight in the state was really for the fourth seat, for which all three parties — BJP, Congress and JD(S) — had fielded candidates, despite not having enough numbers.
Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman, actor-politician Jaggesh and outgoing MLC Lehar Singh Siroya from the BJP and former Union minister Jairam Ramesh from the Congress won the elections.
Interestingly, BJP general secretary CT Ravi said that the party’s candidates won more votes than the allotted ones which means they received help from MLAs of other parties.
Congress candidate and state general secretary Mansoor Ali and former MP D Kupendra Reddy from the JD(S) could not secure a berth in the upper house of Parliament.
A candidate needed 45 votes to win.
The BJP, with 119 MLAs, had enough votes to win two seats which means that it got the requisite numbers for the fourth seat from other parties/Independents.
The Congress had the requisite numbers to secure victory in just one seat.
Earlier, the JD(S) leadership claimed at least two disgruntled MLAs did not vote in favour of its candidate, defying the party’s diktat. One of its legislators admitted he did so since he “loved” Congress.
In Rajasthan, the Congress clinched three Rajya Sabha seats and the BJP won one.
The battle was on between BJP-backed Independent candidate Subash Chandra and Congress’s Pramod Tiwari.
A candidate needed 41 votes to win.
Congress won the third seat with the support of friendly parties since it had the requisite numbers to win just two seats by itself.
All 200 Rajasthan MLAs had cast their vote for the crucial Rajya Sabha elections Friday afternoon.
The Congress, with its 108 MLAs, had 26 surplus votes after winning two seats. It needed 15 votes to win the third seat. The six BSP MLAs in the assembly voted in favour of the Congress candidate, defying the party whip.
On the other hand, the BJP, which had 71 MLAs in the state assembly, could not use its 30 surplus votes to secure victory for media baron Chandra.
Chandra had earlier claimed the support of 39 MLAs.
Congress candidates Randeep Surjewala, Mukul Wasnik and Pramod Tiwari will now go to Rajya Sabha, as will BJP’s Ghanshyam Tiwari.
Maharashtra and Haryana
The counting of votes in Maharashtra and Haryana has been delayed over alleged violation of rules, officials said.
The counting was held up in Maharashtra after opposition BJP alleged three MLAs of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) — Cabinet ministers Jitendra Awhad (NCP) and Yashomati Thakur (Congress), besides Shiv Sena legislator Suhas Kande violated the model code for voting.
The BJP has alleged that Awhad and Thakur handed over their ballots to their party agents instead of only showing them the ballots, while Kande showed his ballot to two different agents.
The counting has been put on hold in Haryana for identical reasons.
The BJP and the Independent candidate backed by it urged the Election Commission to cancel the votes of two Congress MLAs.
In Maharashtra, seven candidates were in the fray for six seats. Notably, this is the first time in more than two decades that there is an electoral contest for the Rajya Sabha polls in the state.
All 285 MLAs who were eligible for voting exercised their franchise for Rajya Sabha election by 3.30pm on Friday.
The crucial, neck-and-neck contest was necessitated as the BJP fielded three candidates while Shiv Sena put up two and Congress and NCP one each.
Out of the six Rajya Sabha seats, the ruling alliance of the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress have enough votes to win three.
The rival BJP can win two seats on its own.
But both were eyeing an extra seat with each fielding an additional candidate.
In Haryana, the BJP with 40 MLAs in the 90-member Haryana assembly has nine more than the 31 first preference votes required for a straight win
Congress, with 31 MLAs, has enough strength to see its nominee Ajay Maken through.
However, the entry of media baron Kartikeya Sharma into the fray as an Independent queered the Congress’s pitch.
Sharma has the backing of the BJP-JJP combine, most Independents, as well as one MLA each from the Haryana Lokhit Party and the INLD.
(With inputs from agencies)