The Congress bagged the highest number of 16 seats in the just-concluded biennial election to 55 Rajya Sabha seats from 13 States and the by-election to one seat from Rajasthan.

But there is nothing much to celebrate for the Congress as in effect it lost two seats — as many as 18 of its members are retiring in the next two weeks.

The Bharatiya Janata Party equalised its figure with 11 getting elected — 10 are retiring in this round and one vacancy was caused in Rajasthan due to the death of MP Krishan Lal Balmiki.

The major loser is the Samajwadi Party as it could get only two of its members elected though seven of its MPs are retiring.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's BSP and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's DMK are the real gainers in the poll. The BSP secured seven seats (only three are retiring) and the DMK got three (with none retiring).

The Biju Janata Dal too got three seats though only one is retiring. The AIADMK got only two seats out of four retiring this time.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), led by N. Chandrababu Naidu, too is a significant gainer as it secured two seats with none of its members retiring.

The other parties which got seats are: Janata Dal (United) and NCP – 2 each, the RJD, the LJP, the Shiv Sena, the JMM, Shiromani Akali Dal and Independent (Vijay Mallya) – one each.

Some other parties whose members are retiring this time are: the Janata Dal (United) – 2, the PMK, the CPI (M), the Janata Dal (Secular), the Shiv sena, the NCP, the Swatantra Bharat Paksha, the Shiromani Akali Dal, the RJD, the JMM and an independent (Rahul Bajaj) – one each.

The Election Commission has announced that based on the report of the Returning Officer and the Observer it had decided to declare the vote cast by an MLA in Orissa as invalid as he had “violated the prescribed voting procedure” during the poll on Thursday.

The NCP MLA from Dhenkanal, Nabin Nanda, while exercising his franchise, showed his marked ballot paper to all present at the polling booth before dropping it into the box. The other parties charged that it was a violation as the Rajya Sabha election guidelines clearly mentioned that a voter was allowed to show his/her marked ballot paper only to the party's authorised polling agent.

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