Rajya Sabha election: 56 seats in 15 states go to polls with cross-voting likely in UP, Karnataka, Himachal

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The Rajya Sabha biennial elections, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, have already seen 41 candidates security their seats unopposed in the Upper House due to lack of opposition, leaving seats up for grabs in three states, including Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh.

Voting process will begin in the Upper House at 9 am and counting of votes will begin at 5 pm.

In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has fielded eight candidates and the opposition Samajwadi Party three for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats. Both BJP and the SP have numbers to send seven and three members respectively, unopposed to the Rajya Sabha.

However, with BJP fielding Sanjay Seth as its eighth candidate, a competitive faceoff is much-likely in one of the seats.

To get elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, a candidate needs nearly 37 first preference votes.

In Karnataka, the ruling Congress has shifted all its MLAs to a hotel ahead of the biennial election to fill four vacancies. Five candidates — Ajay Maken, Syed Naseer Hussain and G C Chandrasekhar (all Congress), Narayansa Bandage (BJP) and Kupendra Reddy (JD(S)) — are in the fray. All parties have issued whips to the MLAs, who are the voters in Tuesday’s poll, amid apprehensions of cross-voting.

Likewise, in Himachal Pradesh, Congress has issued a whip to all its MLAs to vote for party candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi — a move which BJP alleged was to pressurise the MLAs. BJP claimed that legislators have been elected democratically and have the right to vote as per their wish.

The Congress has a clear majority in Himachal Pradesh Rajya Sabha polls with 40 out of 68 MLAs and the support of three independent MLAs.

41 MPs ELECTED UNOPPOSED TO RAJYA SABHA

Out of the 56 Rajya Sabha seats going for polls on Tuesday, 41 members virtually secured their seats in the Upper House although the results will be formally announced on February 27.

BJP President JP Nadda, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradesh, Union IT Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw and former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi were the among the 41 candidates who won seats unopposed in the latest round.

However, a tough competition is expected on the remaining 15 seats, which include 10 for Uttar Pradesh, four for Karnataka and one for Himachal Pradesh. Notably, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka is likely to witness closely contested electoral battles.

JP Nadda was nominated as the party’s candidate from the seat that fell vacant in Gujarat and was elected unopposed. Similarly, Vaishnaw was elected for a second time to the Upper House with support from the ruling Biju Janata Dal from Odisha.

Even MoS Information and Broadcasting L Murugan was elected unopposed from Madhya Pradesh.

Gujarat diamond merchant Govindbhai Dholakia, Jasvantsinh Parmar and OBC Morcha chief Mayank Nayak were also elected unopposed.

In Bihar, JD(U) leader Sanjay Jha was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

In West Bengal, four Trinamool Congress — Mamata Thakur, Sagarika Ghose, Sushmita Devi and Mamata Thakur were elected unopposed. From BJP, Shamik Bhattacharya was the first MP to reach the Upper House.

The BJP has won the highest number of 20 seats, followed by the Congress (6), Trinamool Congress (4), YSR Congress (3), RJD (2), BJD (2) and NCP, Shiv Sena, BRS and JD(U) one each.

In Rajasthan, Sonia Gandhi was elected unopposed and so were BJP’s Chunnilal Garasiya and Madan Rathore.

The term of office for 50 Rajya Sabha members from 13 states is set to conclude on April 2, while the remaining six members from two states are due to retire on April 3.

Polling will be held for 10 Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, four in Karnataka and one seat in Himachal Pradesh from 9 am to 4 pm on Tuesday and counting will be held on the same day from 5 pm onwards. Notably, the shadow of cross-voting looms large with parties keeping a keen watch on its MLAs.

Published By:

Sahil Sinha

Published On:

Feb 27, 2024

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