Rajya Sabha polls - as it happened: BJP wins all 9 RS seats it contested; SP wins tenth seat in U.P.

Elections to 25 seats in the Rajya Sabha took place on Friday in six States, including Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP was virtually assured of eight of the 10 seats.

For 58 seats, 33 candidates from 10 States were declared elected unopposed on March 15. Seven Union Ministers, including Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar, were among them.

Besides Uttar Pradesh, where Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is in the fray and certain to win, the other States that are in the poll process are West Bengal, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Telangana.

 

BJP gains in tight contest in U.P.

In a photo-finish to the keenly watched Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP on Friday took a sweet revenge on the opposition by ensuring victory of all its nine candidates, days after it lost two crucial seats in the Lok Sabha bypolls in the state.

The remaining seat went to the Samajwadi Party in the polls marred by cross-voting from both the sides, which led to the defeat of the BSP candidate in the prestigeous battle of ballots, touted as a test for the new-found bonhomie between the parties headed by Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati.

 

Congress 3, BJP 1 in Karnataka

The ruling Congress in Karnataka on Friday bagged three Rajya Sabha seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party one in the biennial election.

Congress’  L. Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and G.C. Chandrasekhar, as also BJP’s Rajeev Chandrashekhar, were declared elected by the returning officer.

 

TRS candidates win

TRS candidates B. Prakash, B Lingaiah Yadav and J. Santosh Kumar were elected to the Rajya Sabha from Telangana, according to PTI.

 

BJP gets one from Chhattisgarh

BJP national general secretary Saroj Pandey won the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Chhattisgarh.

 

TMC, Congress nominees elected from West Bengal

Our Correspondent Shiv Sahay Singh reports from Kolkata that four Trinamool Congress nominee and one Congress nominee got elected from West Bengal.

While the Congress'  Rajya Sabha nominee Abhishek Manu Singhvi got elected with the support from Trinamool Congress,  Md. Nadimul Haque,  Shanatnu Sen, Abir Ranjan Biswas and and Subhasish Chakraborty from TMC were elected.

 

Counting of votes for Rajya Sabha election in Uttar Pradesh begins after a two-hour delay, PTI quotes Uttar Pradesh Joint Chief Electoral Officer R.C. Rai as saying. “The counting process has been held up after some complaints were raised on balloting,” according to an election official quoted by IANS. The counting was scheduled to begin at 5 p.m, an hour after the voting process was completed.

In all, 400 of Uttar Pradesh’s 403 MLAs voted in the polls. Two of the three legislators who could not cast their votes — Mukhtar Ansari of the BSP and SP legislator Hari Om Yadav — are in jail, while the Noorpur seat in Bijnore fell vacant following the death of BJP MLA Lokendra Pratap Singh.

 

Veerendra Kumar elected

M.P. Veerendra Kumar, State President of the Janata Dal (U) Sharad Yadav faction, was today elected to the Rajya Sabha from Kerala.

Mr. Kumar, who was supported by ruling CPI(M)-led LDF, polled 89 votes, while B Babu Prasad, Opposition UDF candidate, got 40 votes, official sources said.

 

 

JD(S) cries foul in Karnataka

The JD(S) has demanded countermanding of elections to four seats in Karnataka, alleging that the returning officer, in ‘collusion’ with the ruling Congress, allowed two of its members to recast their vote after they “cross-voted”.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, however, termed the charge ‘false’, saying before casting their votes, the two MLAs realised they had made a “mistake” on the ballot paper, so they took another one for which “there is a provision in law”.

Five candidates, three from the Congress and one each from the BJP and the JD(S) were in the fray for the four seats.

As the poll process was on, JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy claimed that two senior Congress MLAs had “cross-voted” against their party’s official nominees by marking for another candidate on the ballot paper.

However, on the request of the ruling party’s agent, the returning officer later allowed both the candidates to vote once again by issuing them a fresh ballot paper, he alleged.

“Minister Kagodu Thimmappa, who was a former Speaker; and MLA Baburao Chinchansur have cross-voted in the first ballot paper, then they have shown it to their agent. “After seeing the cross- voting, the agent protested. Then the returning officer allowed these two voters to vote once again, second vote,” Mr. Kumaraswamy told reporters.

“We are protesting ...illegal voting is going on,” he said. The observer from the Election Commission has been requested to “countermand” the election process. Claiming that both Mr. Thimmappa and Mr. Chinchanasur wanted to vote against the Congress candidates, he alleged that the returning officer is “colluding” with the government.

Rejecting the charge, Mr. Siddaramaiah said: “It appears they [JD-S)] are desperate... they have tried every thing, they had gone to the court [on seven rebel JD-S) MLAs issue], they failed in the court, and desperately they are making these allegations.”

The Chief Minister also expressed confidence that all three the Congress candidates will win the election, saying “we have enough votes on our side”.

 

Voting ends in West Bengal

Voting for the five Rajya Sabha seats in West Bengal ended at 4 p.m. and all the six candidates in the fray were present on the Assembly premises during the polling. The voting had begun at 9 a.m.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee and other Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLAs, cast their votes. Leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan, along with other Congress MLAs, also exercised his franchise.

Later, Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who has been supported by the ruling TMC met Ms. Banerjee in the Assembly.

The TMC, which fielded four candidates -- Nadimul Haque, who was renominated, Subhasish Chakraborty, Abir Biswas and Santunu Sen -- had announced its support to Mr. Singhvi for the fifth seat. Senior CPI(M) leader Rabin Deb contested against him.

A candidate requires 49 first-preference votes to win a Rajya Sabha seat from the State.

In the Assembly, TMC has 211 MLAs and the Congress 42. The Left Front had 32 legislators, but two of them joined the TMC.

Elections to the five Rajya Sabha seats was necessitated as the terms of Kunal Ghosh, Bibek Gupta and Nadimul Haque of the TMC and Tapan Sen of CPI(M) will end on April 2.

Mukul Roy, who quit the TMC and joined the BJP last year, has already resigned from the Rajya Sabha.

 

Watch: The BJP’s strategy

What is the BJP's strategy for the Rajya Sabha elections? How important is this election for the Congress? Watch this video to know more

 

In Kerala

Voting for the lone Rajya Sabha seat in Kerala is under way, with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan being among the early voters. Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and ministers were among those who voted.

M.P. Veerendra Kumar, State president of the Janata Dal (U) Sharad Yadav faction, is the candidate supported by ruling CPI(M)-led LDF, while B. Babu Prasad is the UDF candidate.

In the 140-member Assembly, the LDF has 90 MLAs and the UDF 41.

Kerala Congress (M), which has six MLAs, has said it will abstain from voting. The lone BJP MLA in the State O. Rajagopal, has also decided to keep away from exercising his franchise.

 

Voting under way in West Bengal

Voting for the five Rajya Sabha seats in West Bengal is underway, with six candidates, including Congress nominee Abhishek Manu Singhvi, in the fray, reports the PTI.

A candidate requires 49 votes to win a Rajya Sabha seat from the State. Polling started at 9 a.m.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC), which has fielded four candidates — Nadimul Haque, who has been renominated; Subhasish Chakraborty, Abir Biswas and Santunu Sen — has announced its support to Mr. Singhvi for the fifth seat. Senior CPI(M) leader Rabin Deb is contesting against him.

The Congress has 42 members in the 295-member Assembly while the Left Front had 32 legislators, but two of them joined the TMC.

Election to the five Rajya Sabha seats from the State was necessitated as the terms of Kunal Ghosh, Bibek Gupta and Nadimul Haque of the TMC and Tapan Sen of the CPI(M) will end on April 2. Mukul Roy, who quit the TMC and joined the BJP last year, has already resigned from the Rajya Sabha.

 

In Jharkhand

Cross-voting allegation has been levelled against Jharkhand Vikas Morcha MLA Prakash Ram. Pradeep Santhalia and Sandeep Oraon are the BJP candidates, while the Congress's Dheeraj Sahu is the Opposition candidate. To win the polls in the 81-seat Assembly, a candidate needs the support of around 30 MLAs.

 

All three TRS candidates set to win in Telangana

All three candidates of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) are set to win after the Election Commission cleared the air over the fate of the polls following the expulsion of two Congress MLAs.

Apart from the three candidates — J. Santosh Kumar, Mr. Banda Prakash and B. Lingaiah Yadav — the Congress has fielded former Union Minister of State P. Balram Naik but the election is a mere formality as the TRS has absolute numbers to win. In the 119-member House, the TRS enjoys the support of 108 members, including seven of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. The BJP, Telugu Desam and CPI(M), which together have nine members, have decided to abstain from polling. The two expelled Congress members cannot anyway vote.

Read more
 

 

In Karnataka

In Karnataka, five candidates — L. Hanumanthaiah, Naseer Hussain and Mr. Chandrashekar of the Congress, Rajeev Chandrasekhar of the BJP and Mr. Farook of the JD(S) — are contesting for four seats.

To keep their flock together, all the three political parties have issued whip to their MLAs. Each candidate has to get 44.4% of the first priority votes to get elected.

With Speaker K.B. Koliwad informing the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday that he needs some more time to decide on the issue of disqualification of seven rebel Janata Dal (Secular) legislators, the Congress and JD(S) candidates are worried about the possibility of cross-voting.

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In Uttar Pradesh

The country’s most populous State sends 31 MPs to the 245-member Rajya Sabha, and the BJP, which won a massive victory in the 2017 Assembly elections, is yet to get a lion’s share of these. Presently, the BJP has 58 Rajya Sabha members.

Kuldeep Singh Sengar of the BJP; Anil Singh of the BSP, who cross-voted for the BJP; and Independent MLA Vijay Mishra, who also voted for the BJP, during the Rajya Sabha election, at the Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow on Friday.

Kuldeep Singh Sengar of the BJP; Anil Singh of the BSP, who cross-voted for the BJP; and Independent MLA Vijay Mishra, who also voted for the BJP, during the Rajya Sabha election, at the Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

BSP MLA Anil Singh says he has voted for the BJP candidate. He was elected from the Purwa constituency in 2017. He won with a margin of 10.81% of the total votes over the BJP's Uttam Chandra Urf Rakesh Lodhi.

The four-MLA strong Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), after being placated by BJP chief Amit Shah, and the Apna Dal (Sonelal) with nine MLAs have decided to vote for BJP nominees.

In all, there are 11 candidates in the fray for the 10 seats.

To secure a win, a candidate needs 37 first preference votes. Arithmetically, the BJP can easily win eight of the 10 seats and will be left with 28 surplus votes.

“There will be contest for the ninth seat,” a senior UP BJP leader said, exuding confidence that the party would bag nine seats.

 

SP, BSP hope to win one seat each

The SP has fielded Jaya Bachchan and the BSP Bhimrao Ambedkar.

With 19 MLAs, the BSP is short of 18 first preference votes and with Naresh Agarwal’s son Nitin, who is still an SP MLA, likely to cross-vote for the BJP, the task will become difficult for the candidate of the Mayawati-led party. BSP insiders said to be doubly sure of victory, Mayawati has sought a list of SP’s loyal MLAs who will vote for her party candidate. She is also banking on some independent MLAs, who, though, are yet to reveal their cards, they said.

Riding on the new bonhomie with the SP, Mayawati is banking on the 10 surplus votes of Akhilesh Yadav’s party, besides seven votes of the Congress and one of the RLD to reach the magic figure of 37 votes.

 

One candidate each of the ruling BJP and main opposition Congress will cross swords for the lone Rajya Sabha seat in Chhattisgarh.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 7:50:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajya-sabha-polls-live-bjps-saroj-pandey-wins-lone-seat-from-chhattisgarh/article23329858.ece

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