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RS polls: Covid positive MLA votes wearing PPE suit in MP

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
June 19, 2020 16:51 IST
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Voting for three vacant Rajya Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh concluded on Friday afternoon after all the 206 MLAs, including a Congress legislator who has tested COVID-19 positive, cast their votes.

 

IMAGE: A Congress MLA, right, who have been tested positive for COVID-19 arrives at the state legislative assembly to cast his vote for the Rajya Sabha election, in Bhopal on Friday. Photograph: ANI Photo

Meanwhile in Gujarat, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Matar Kesarisinh Jesangbhai Solanki arrived in an ambulance to cast his vote in Rajya Sabha elections on Friday.

Voting began in Madhya Pradesh at 9 am in the state assembly complex in Bhopal and ended around 1.15 pm, an assembly official said.

The Congress legislator, who is a COVID-19 patient, was the last one to cast his ballot wearing a PPE suit.

He came to the assembly complex in an ambulance, the official said.

Both the parties -- the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress -- had fielded two candidates each for the three seats of the Upper House of Parliament.

While the BJP fielded senior leader and former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and former professor of a government college, Sumer Singh Solanki, from the Congress's side, veteran politician Digvijaya Singh and Dalit leader Phool Singh Baraiya were in the fray.

BJP members, including state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, cast their votes in the morning.

IMAGE: The MLA came to the assembly in an ambulance. Photograph: ANI Photo

Former chief minister Kamal Nath and other Congress leaders also cast their ballots soon after the process began.

Chouhan was the first member to cast vote, followed by the Home Minister Narottam Mishra.

The members were seen wearing masks and standing in a queue maintaining social distance in view of COVID-19 pandemic.

For winning a seat in the Rajya Sabha polls from MP, a candidate needs 52 votes.

As per the numerical strength of the two parties, BJP is set to win two seats as it has 107 MLAs of its own and has the support of two MLAs of the Bahujan Samaj Party, one MLA of the Samajwadi Party and two Independents, party sources said.

The saffron party has the support of 112 in the 230 member Assembly whose effective strength is 206.

Scindia and Solanki, thus, can get the 52 votes each needed for victory.

Leaders of the BSP and the SP said they voted in favour of the BJP.

IMAGE: BJP MLA Jesangbhai Solanki arrives in an ambulance to cast his vote for Rajya Sabha election, in Gandhinagar on Friday. Photograph: ANI Photo

Talking to reporters after the polls, SP's Rajesh Shukla said, "It is our compulsion to go with the government. I have voted for the BJP on my own for the development of the area. There was no directive from the party leadership on the issue."

BSP's Sanjeev Kushwaha said, "The Congress government collapsed not because of us, but due to its internal differences. There was no directive from the party for us.

"Therefore, we voted for the BJP on our own for the development of our region. The BSP will contest the upcoming by-polls on all the seats."

In the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly, 24 seats are currently vacant.

Congress has been left with 92 MLAs after 22 of its legislators, including six who were ministers then, quit the party in support of Scindia's move to join the BJP.

Thus, Congress is set to win a single seat out of the total three for which polls are being held, sources added.

The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) had asked 54 of its 92 MLAs to cast their first preference vote for Digvijaya Singh.

The former chief minister needs 52 votes to get elected to Rajya Sabha for the second consecutive term.

Baraiya, placed after Singh in the pecking order by his party, does not have the numbers on his side to win.

In Gujarat, voting for elections to fill the vacant 18 seats in Rajya Sabha began on Friday.

BJP MLA Kesarisinh Jesangbhai Solanki was hospitalised following a health issue reached the polling booth directly from the hospital.

Meanwhile, three buses, carrying BJP MLAs, reached Rajasthan Legislative Assembly in Jaipur.

Polling is being held for the states of Andhra Pradesh (four seats), Gujarat (four seats), Jharkhand (two seats), Madhya Pradesh (three seats), Manipur (one seat), Meghalaya (one seat) and Rajasthan (three seats).

-- with inputs from ANI

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© 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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