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RS polls: Digvijaya, Scindia sail through, YSRC's clean sweep in AP

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck
Last updated on: June 19, 2020 23:53 IST
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In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP won 2 seats and the Congress bagged one seat while in Rajasthan, it was the other way around with the Congress emerging victorius in two.

IMAGE: Former MP chief minister Kamal Nath offers sweets to senior congress leader Digvijaya Singh after he won the Rajya Sabha election, in Bhopal. Photograph: PTI Photo

The ruling YSR Congress bagged all the four Rajya Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh and seasoned campaigners like Digvijaya Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Shibu Soren had an easy sailing as the results of the polls to the upper house were on expected lines but not before some high-voltage drama in Gujarat and Manipur.

 

Voting was held for 19 seats spread across eight states amid all precautionary measures in view of the COVID-19 pandemic which led to two legislators in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan who were in quarantine turning up in PPE gear.

The BJP won three seats in Gujarat and the Congress emerged victorious in one seat. In Madhya Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party won two seats and the Congress bagged one seat while in Rajasthan, it was the other way around with the Congress emerging victorius in two. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha won one seat in Jharkhand so did the BJP while the candidates of the ruling alliances won in Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram.

IMAGE: Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha candidate Digvijay Singh being checked by medics as he arrives to cast his vote for Rajya Sabha election at state assembly, during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, in Bhopal. Photograph: PTI Photo

Social distancing was followed and entry of the legislators were allowed after thermal screening and wearing of masks. As a precautionary measure, the election commission gave individual pen to the legislators for marking their votes.

With many MLAs switching sides, the past few months have seen parties indulging in 'resort politics' to keep their flock together. Several MLAs have been lodged in resorts to stop them from "poaching" by rival factions.

In Manipur, which is witnessing a political crisis following the resignation of nine members of the ruling coalition, BJP candidate and the state's titular king L Sanajaoba defeated veteran T Mangi Babu of the Congress.

Sanajaoba received 28 votes compared to Babu's 24, officials said.

The win will be a major boost to the ruling BJP-led coalition in the state which was on a sticky wicket after the rebellion of nine MLAs. Three BJP MLAs of the nine, who have resigned from the primary membership of the party and the post of the legislator, did not cast their votes. Four National People's Party ministers, who had withdrawn their support to the ruling coalition, have, however, exercised their franchise.

Lone Trinamool Congress MLA T Robindro Singh, who also pulled out of the N Biren Singh-led dispensation, also did not cast his vote.

IMAGE: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot shows victory sign after the result declaration of Rajya Sabha election at the State Assembly during coronavirus lockdown, in Jaipur. Photograph: ANI Photo

Three Congress defectors -- Ksh Biren Singh, S Bira Singh, Surchandra Singh -- were not allowed to cast their votes as cases are pending against them.

One recently disqualified MLA was also barred from taking part in the voting process.

BJP candidates Abhay Bharadwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin along with Congress's Shaktisinh Gohil were declared winners in Gujarat.

The counting was delayed due to objections raised by the Congress which demanded that votes cast by two BJP MLAs be invalidated.

The Election Commission of India rejected the demand, upholding the report given by the election observer.

Former Union minister Bharatsinh Solanki, a second candidate fielded by the Congress, lost.

Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani said the Congress sought cancellation of votes cast by BJP MLA Kesrisinh Solanki and minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama.

The Congress objected to Chudasama casting his vote on the ground that his election was annulled by Gujarat High Court last month. The Supreme Court has stayed that order. As to Solanki's vote, the party claimed that an unauthorised person accompanied him inside the polling booth.

In 2017 too, there was high drama that went past midnight during the Rajya Sabha elections in the state when senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel was re-elected after an action-packed vote. BJP president Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani had won the two other seats vacant in the state that time.

IMAGE: Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani (right) and Congress leader Jayrajsinh Parmar flash the victory sign during Rajya Sabha elections, in Gandhinagar. Photograph: PTI Photo

The ruling Congress in Rajasthan won two out of the three seats which went to polls. While K C Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi were declared elected, BJP's Rajendra Gehlot won comfortably while its second candidate Onkar Singh Lakhawat was defeated.

With this, the number of Congress's Rajya Sabha MPs from Rajasthan has increased to 3, out of total 10, and rest 7 seats are held by the BJP.

Out of the total 200 legislators, 198 members cast their votes. Two MLAs (Congress's Bhanwar Lal who is also a minister and CPI-M's Girdhari Lal) could not come due to health reasons.

AICC spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party's win was a birthday gift for Rahul Gandhi.

Meanwhile, the BJP raised objection on the vote cast by Congress MLA Wajib Ali, who recently returned from Australia, saying he has violated quarantine norms.

IMAGE: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren (right) gives a certificate to his father and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha Chief Shibu Soren after he won Rajya Sabha Election at Jharkhand assembly, in Ranchi. Photograph: PTI Photo

However, he said he has already been tested negative for COVID-19 and cast his vote after wearing a PPE gear.

Soon after he cast his vote, a complaint was filed with Jyoti nagar police station demanding action against him under the epidemic diseases act.

Police said that the complaint will be probed. However, no FIR was registered.

Veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh and BJP candidates Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sumer Singh Solanki won from Madhya Pradesh. The Congress's other candidate, Dalit leader Phool Singh Barriya, lost the election.

While Singh is returning to the Rajya Sabha for second consecutive term, Scindia, his once arch rival in the Madhya Pradesh Congress who is now with the BJP, is entering the Upper House of Parliament for the first time.

Digvijaya Singh bagged 57 votes, Scindia 56 and Solanki 55, a poll official said.

A Congress MLA who has contracted coronavirus arrived in an ambulance, wearing Personal Protection Equipment gear. He was the last one to vote.

Poll officials said the votes of BJP MLAs Gopilal Jatav and Jugal Kishore Bagdi were cancelled for technical reasons.

IMAGE: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy casts his vote for Rajya Sabha Elections, at Legislative Assembly in Amaravathi, Guntur district. Photograph: PTI Photo

JMM supremo Shibu Soren and BJP state unit president Deepak Prakash won the two seats in Jharkhand. Congress candidate Shahzada Anwar finished third by bagging 18 votes.

This will be Soren's third term as a Rajya Sabha member. Soren, whose JMM now governs Jharkhand, had also served as a Union minister. It will be Prakash's maiden term in the Upper House of Parliament.

In Andhra Pradesh, Deputy Chief Minister Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose, minister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana, industrialist Parimal Nathwani and realtor Ayodhya Rami Reddy of the YSRC were elected with 38 votes each.

The opposition Telugu Desam Party, which had forced the contest despite not having the numbers, lost badly, with its nominee Varla Ramaiah polling only 17 votes against its technical strength of 23 in the assembly.

The ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance candidate Wanwei Roy Kharlukhi Friday won the lone seat in Meghalaya defeating Congress candidate Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem by a margin of 20 votes.

MDA partner KHNAM's MLA Adelbert Nongrum abstained from voting to express his dissent against the NPP whose Lok Sabha MP Agatha K Sangma had voted in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament whereas the party in the state opposed it. One vote was found to be invalid.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck© Copyright 2020 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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