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Rediff.com  » News » Haryana RS polls: Independent MLA critical of BJP abstains

Haryana RS polls: Independent MLA critical of BJP abstains

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
June 10, 2022 18:18 IST
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Polling for the two Rajya Sabha seats from Haryana ended on Friday with Independent legislator Balraj Kundu abstaining.

IMAGE: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar casts his vote for the Rajya Sabha elections, in Chandigarh on Friday. Photograph: ANI Photo

Eighty-nine legislators exercised their franchise out of the total 90 seats, officials said. Polling began at 9 am.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded former minister Krishan Lal Panwar, while Ajay Maken, a former Union minister, is the Congress nominee. Media baron Kartikeya Sharma entered the fray as an Independent.

 

Independent MLA Balraj Kundu, who has been vocal against the BJP-led government on several issues, remained firm in his decision to abstain from voting.

Home Minister Anil Vij and state BJP chief O P Dhankar went to Kundu's home to persuade him but were unsuccessful.

Kundu, the legislator from Meham, told reporters, "I received many offers, including monetary. But I decided to act as per my conscience."

He alleged there have been many scams during the BJP-Jannayak Janata Party government, and said he could not support the party or any candidate backed by it or its ally.

Kundu also hit out at the Congress for fielding Ajay Maken, saying, "The party insulted the people of Haryana by fielding an outsider."

"Therefore, due to these reasons, I have decided not to cast my vote and abstain from voting," he said.

The Congress has 31 MLAs in the 90-member House.

Senior Congress leader and MLA Raghuvir Singh Kadian said the party has the numbers needed for the victory of its candidate.

"Our candidate will get all the 31 votes of the Congress. He will also get two or three votes in addition," he claimed, but did not name the MLAs from other parties who could extend support.

The Congress had shifted its MLAs to Raipur a week ago, fearing poaching of its legislators. The MLAs reached Chandigarh on Friday before the polls.

Leaders of the BJP and JJP and some Independents claimed that BJP candidate Panwar and Independent Kartikeya Sharma would win.

While 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, the contest has become keen for the second seat with the entry of media baron Kartikeya Sharma, an Independent.

Kartikeya Sharma has the backing of the BJP-JJP combine, most of the Independents, and Gopal Kanda, the lone MLA of the Haryana Lokhit Party.

The Congress has 31 members in the Assembly, just enough to help its candidate win a seat. Its prospects could be in jeopardy in case of cross-voting.

The JJP, which is an ally of the BJP, has 10 legislators, while the Indian National Lok Dal and the Haryana Lokhit Party have one each. There are seven Independents.

The BJP-JJP too had shifted their MLAs to a resort in Chandigarh. They are attending a "training session" in connection with the voting process, Haryana BJP chief O P Dhankar had said.

Two Rajya Sabha seats from Haryana will fall vacant in August with the terms of media baron Subhash Chandra and BJP leader Dushyant Gautam expiring.

Kartikeya Sharma is the son of former Union minister Venod Sharma, who had been a minister in the erstwhile Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led government. Venod Sharma had later floated his own outfit, the Jan Chetna Party.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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