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Rediff.com  » News » BJP bags 12 Rajya Sabha seats, crushes SP-BSP bonhomie in UP

BJP bags 12 Rajya Sabha seats, crushes SP-BSP bonhomie in UP

Last updated on: March 24, 2018 08:15 IST

Mayawati was outmanoeuvred by the BJP in the race for the Rajya Sabha in Uttar Pradesh just days after she helped the Samajwadi Party snatch two Lok Sabha seats from the saffron party in bypolls. 

The Bharatiya Janata Party won 12 of the remaining 25 seats at stake in crucial Rajya Sabha biennial polls in seven states on Friday amid high drama in Uttar Pradesh where it clinched an extra ninth seat overcoming the newfound bonhomie between former arch rivals the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.

For the 59 Rajya Sabha seats to be filled, 33 candidates from 10 states were declared elected unopposed on March 15 with the BJP accounting for 16 of them.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the winners in the Rajya Sabha polls.

"Congratulations to all those elected to the Rajya Sabha from various states and best wishes for their parliamentary career. I hope they effectively voice the aspirations of the states they will represent," he tweeted.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP leader GVL Narsimha Rao, SP's Jaya Bachchan (all from Uttar Pradesh), Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who was backed by ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, and BJP's Rajeev Chandrasekhar (from Karnataka) were among the prominent winners.

Uttar Pradesh

In a photo-finish to the keenly watched Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP 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.

Besides BJP's prominent winner Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, others who made it to the Upper House of Parliament from the party are Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, Harnath Singh Yadav, GVL Narasimha Rao and ninth candidate Anil Kumar Agarwal, who pulled off a surpise win with the help of second preference votes.

Other candidates, including SP's actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan won with the help of first preference votes.

Counting of votes in the Rajya Sabha election from Uttar Pradesh began after a two-hour delay as the opposition SP and BSP lodged a complaint with the Election Commission.

The opposition parties moved the poll panel against two MLAs who are believed to have cross-voted.

The Rajya Sabha results came days after the BJP lost Lok Sabha bypolls to Gorakhpur and Phulpur to a joint force of the SP and the BSP.

West Bengal

Congress's Abhishek Manu Singhvi and four Trinamool Congress candidates -- Nadimul Haque, Subhasish Chakraborty, Abir Biswas and Santunu Sen -- won the Rajya Sabha election.

The TMC supported Singhvi in the Rajya Sabha poll who contested as the fifth candidate as the Congress did not have the strength in the assembly to get its candidate elected.

Singhvi secured 47 votes.

Nadimul Haque secured 52 votes, Subhasish Chakraborty got 54 votes, Abir Biswas bagged 52 and Santunu Sen secured 51 votes.

Left Front-backed CPI-M candidate Rabin Deb lost the poll. He had contested for the fifth seat bagged only 30 votes.

It will be the second term for Nadimul Haque in the upper house.

Karnataka

The ruling Congress in Karnataka bagged three Rajya Sabha seats and the BJP one in the biennial election, amid a boycott of the poll by the Janata Dal-Secular, alleging electoral malpractice.

Congress's L Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and G C Chandrasekhar, and BJP's Rajeev Chandrashekar were declared elected after a complaint by the JDS to the Election Commission caused delay in taking up counting of votes.

With its strength in the assembly, the Congress was sure of winning two seats and eyed the third seat and won it with the support of JDS rebels and independents.

The fight was for the third seat between the third candidate of the Congress' Chandrasekhar and JDS' B M Farooq, with the ruling party pulling off a bonus victory.

Businessman Rajeev Chandrasekhar secured 50 votes, six more than required, with the support from smaller parties and independents.

Congress's Chandrasekhar received 46 votes, Hanumanthaiah 44 and Hussain 42.

Two votes were declared invalid and two rejected.

Telangana

In Telangana, Telangana Rashtra Samithi candidates B Prakash, B Lingaiah Yadav and J Santosh Kumar were elected to the Rajya Sabha.

The nominee of the main opposition Congress, P Balaram, lost the election.

Prakash, Yadav and Santosh Kumar got 33, 32 and 32 votes respectively. Balaram obtained 10 votes, official sources said.

In the 119-member house, 117 were eligible voters as two Congress MLAs were expelled from the house recently.

BJP (5 MLAs), TDP (3) and CPI-M (1) abstained from voting.

Thus the total number of votes was 108.

One vote was declared invalid as the MLA, who is an independent, showed his vote to the Congress agent, the sources said.

The Congress, whose strength was 17, alleged that seven of its MLAs voted for TRS.

The MLAs had allegedly switched loyalty to TRS earlier.

Alleging that the MLAs had violated its whip, Congress has complained to election commission about the matter.

All Indai Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (seven MLAs) supported the TRS.

Jharkhand

BJP's Sameer Uranv and Congress' Dheeraj Sahu won the two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand, Returning Officer Vinay Singh said.

The BJP's other nominee Pradeep Kumar Sonthalia lost the polls, finishing third, he said.

Earlier in the day, counting was interrupted following complaints by the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik and the Congress to the Election Commission.

The parties alleged that JVM-P MLA Prakash Ram did not show his ballot paper to JVM-P polling agent Bandhu Tirkey, sources in the Assembly Secretariat here said.

However, the counting was started later.

The JVM-P has suspended Prakash Ram with immediate effect.

In the 80-member Jharkhand assembly, the ruling BJP has 43 MLAs and its ally All Jharkhand Students Union has four legislators.

Opposition Congress has seven and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha 18 MLAs.

The JVM-P has 2 MLAs and the BSP, MCC, CPIM-L one each. There are three independents.

All 80 MLAs cast their votes, according to assembly sources.

Kerala

M P Veerendra Kumar, the state President of the Janata Dal-United Sharad Yadav faction, was elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Kumar, who was supported by ruling Communist Party of India Marxist-led Left Democratic Front, polled 89 votes, while B Babu Prasad the opposition United Democratic Front candidate got 40 votes in the election held to one seat from the state, official sources said.

The election was held after the seat fell vacant when Kumar resigned from the Upper House of Parliament as a mark of protest against JD-U leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar joining hands with BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. 

In the 140-member assembly, the LDF has 90 MLAs while the UDF 41 legislators.

One vote of the LDF supported candidate was declared invalid.

The Kerala Congress-Mani, which has six MLAs and is keeping an equi-distance from both the fronts, abstained from voting.

BJP's lone MLA O Rajagopal and P C George (Ind) also did not cast their franchise.

One MLA of UDF ally IUML is on leave as he is unwell.

Chhattisgarh

BJP national general secretary Saroj Pandey won the lone Rajya Sabha seat for which polling was held in Chhattisgarh, defeating Congress rival Lekhram Sahu.

Pandey polled 51 votes, while Sahu secured 36 votes in the election held at the state assembly complex, wherein 87 of the 90 state legislators cast their votes, state Assembly secretary Chandra Shekhar Gangrade, who is also the returning officer, said.

The House currently has 49 BJP MLAs, 39 Congress legislators, one BSP member and an independent legislator.

Pandey seems to have got all 49 votes of her party MLAs and apparently two more votes from BSP and independent legislators.

Sahu bagged 36 votes as the three Congress legislators - Amit Jogi, Shiyaram Kaushik and Rajendra Rai - who are facing disciplinary action for anti-party activities, boycotted the polls and did not vote.

While Jogi was expelled from the Congress in 2016, Kaushik and Rai were suspended from the party last year.

According to officials, Jogi, Kaushik and Rai are still considered Congress members in the state assembly.  

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