Polling to fill 26 vacancies in the Rajya Sabha was held in seven states — Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Karnataka and Kerala. The counting of votes was delayed in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Karnataka due to claims of cross-voting. While results from all the states were out on Friday, the results from Jharkhand were announced around 12:20 am on Saturday.
For the general 58 Rajya Sabha seats to be filled, 33 candidates from 10 states were declared elected unopposed from 10 states on 15 March. A bypoll was held on Friday for one seat in Kerala, which fell vacant after MP Veerendra Kumar resigned from the Upper House in 2017 as a mark of protest against the JD(U)-BJP alliance.
The BJP registered a massive victory as it won nine seats from Uttar Pradesh, while the SP managed to win one.
The counting of votes in the keenly-watched Rajya Sabha election from Uttar Pradesh began after a two-hour delay as the Opposition Samajwadi Party and BSP lodged a complaint with the Election Commission.
India Today reported that two votes — one by BSP and BJP each — were declared invalid by the poll panel.
The BJP registered a massive victory as it won eight seats from Uttar Pradesh, while the SP managed to win one.
Earlier, the Opposition parties moved the poll panel against two MLAs who were believed to have cross-voted.
"We have given a written complaint to the Election Commission that our MLA Anil Singh did not show his vote to the election agent of the party before casting it and we are awaiting a reply from the EC in this regard," deputy leader of the BSP in the state Assembly Uma Shankar Singh said.
The Samajwadi Party also lodged a similar complaint with regard to MLA Nitin Agarwal, who had switched sides after his father quit the party and joined the BJP recently.
"Nitin Agarwal cast his vote without showing it to the election agent and we have demanded the cancellation of his vote," SP MLC Sunil Singh Sajan said.
"We have demanded the cancellation of these votes," Sajan said.
With one BSP MLA believed to have cross-voted and two others in jail being denied permission to vote in the Rajya Sabha polls, the Opposition faced a challenge of numbers to ensure victory for their second candidate.
BSP MLA Anil Singh indicated that he had cross-voted in favour of the BJP, saying "I am with Maharaj ji", a reference to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
While the ruling BJP was assured of eight of 10 Rajya Sabha seats, the Samajwadi Party had fielded Jaya Bachchan and the BSP Bhimrao Ambedkar for the remaining two seats.
Since the BJP and its allies have 324 seats in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, it was easy for the saffron party bag to win eight of the 10 seats.
BJP candidates in the fray from Uttar Pradesh were Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, Harnath Singh Yadav and GVL Narasimha Rao. The ninth candidate is Anil Kumar Agarwal, a businessman.
The Trinamool Congress bagged four seats and the Congress got one in the Rajya Sabha polls from West Bengal.
All four Trinamool candidates — sitting Rajya Sabha member Nadimul Haque and first time nominees Subhasish Chakraborty, Abir Biswas and Santanu Sen — emerged victorious in the vote count.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, supported by the Trinamool, also won, while the CPM's Rabin Deb, backed by the Left, lost.
According to election officials, Trinamool's Chakraborty secured the highest number of 54 votes. Haque and Biswas got 52 votes each and Sen 51. Singhvi garnered 47 votes. Deb managed to get 30 votes.
The votes of two Trinamool lawmakers — Jakir Hossain and Mrigendra Nath Maiti — were rejected.
BJP candidate Saroj Pandey won the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Chhattisgarh, defeating Congress' Lekhram Sahu.
BJP will win in other states as well under the leadership of PM Modi and party president Amit Shah: Saroj Pandey, BJP pic.twitter.com/7ZlD2m8cJn
— ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2018
BJP's Sameer Uranv and Congress' Dheeraj Sahu won the two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand.
The BJP's other nominee Pradeep Kumar Sonthalia lost the polls, finishing third.
Counting of votes in the election for the two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand began later on Friday after the Election Commission rejected complaints from the Congress and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha- Prajatantrik (JVM-P) that a JVM-P MLA did not show his ballot to the party's polling agent. The JVM-P suspended its legislator Prakash Ram for the alleged cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha polls.
"We have suspended Prakash Ram. We have written to the Election Commission to cancel his vote as he voted against the party line," JVM-P chief Babulal Marandi told reporters.
Telangana's ruling TRS bagged all three Rajya Sabha seats. B Prakash, J Santosh Kumar and AB Lingaiah Yadav were elected to the Upper House. Congress candidate and former union minister P Balram Naik was defeated. A total of 108 members of the Assembly voted. Prakash secured 33 votes while Santosh Kumar and Yadav polled 32 votes each.
The Congress candidate got only 10 votes as Independent member D Prakash Reddy's vote was declared invalid by the Election Commission. The poll panel took the decision after a complaint by the returning officer that Prakash Reddy showed his vote to the Congress agent before casting it.
The election became inevitable after the Congress fielded a candidate though the TRS had comfortable strength in the 119-member Assembly to win all three seats. The TRS has 91 MLAs while the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), which has seven members, also supported the ruling party.
The BJP, which has five members, TDP(2) and CPM (1) has abstained from voting. Two Congress members — Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, SA Sampath Kumar — could not vote as they were expelled from the House last week for allegedly hurling headphones during the governor's address, injuring Legislative Council Chairman Swamy Goud in his eye.
Amid a boycott of the poll by the JDS, which alleged electoral malpractice, the ruling Congress in Karnataka bagged three Rajya Sabha seats and the BJP, too, secured one seat with Rajeev Chandrashekhar's win.
From the Congress, L Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain were declared elected to the Rajya Sabha. BJP's Chandrashekhar expressed happiness after emerging victorious in Karnataka.
I am very happy to have received the maximum number of votes. Happy with the trust shown in me. It is an honor for me to serve Karnataka & serve my city Bengaluru: Rajeev Chandrashekhar, BJP after winning #RajyaSabhaElections from Karnataka pic.twitter.com/cDPOTsWHj5 — ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2018
Two votes were declared invalid and two rejected.
The JDS boycotted the polls midway alleging electoral malpractice and collusion of the returning officer with the Congress.
JDS state unit chief and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy demanded countermanding of the election, charging that the returning officer, in 'collusion' with the ruling party, allowed two of its members to recast their vote after they 'cross-voted'.
As the poll process was underway, Kumaraswamy claimed that two senior Congress MLAs had "cross voted" against their party's official nominees by marking for another candidate on the ballot paper.
However, on the request of the ruling party's agent, the returning officer later allowed both candidates to vote once again by issuing them a fresh ballot paper, he alleged.
"Minister Kagodu Thimmappa, who was a former Speaker, and MLA Baburao Chinchansur, both of them have cross voted in the first ballot paper, then they have shown it to their agent, he
"After seeing the cross voting the agent protested. Then the Returning Officer allowed these two voters to vote once again," Kumaraswamy told reporters.
Kumaraswamy later announced boycott of the election after two of the JDS MLAs had cast their vote and accused the Congress of indulging in "money politics."
Rejecting the charge, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, "It appears they (JDS) are desperate... they have tried everything.. they had gone to the court (on seven rebel JDS MLA issue), they failed in the court, and desperately they are making these allegations."
Taking cognisance of a complaint by JDS, the Election Commission directed the Returning Offficer MS Kumaraswamy to reject two votes cast by Congress MLAs.
Veerendra Kumar, the Kerala president of the JD(U) Sharad Yadav faction, was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Kerala.
Kumar, who was supported by ruling CPM-led LDF, polled 89 votes, while B Babu Prasad the opposition UDF candidate got 40 votes in the election held to one seat from the state, official sources said.
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 equal distance from both the fronts, abstained from voting.
BJP's lone MLA O Rajagopal and PC George (Ind) also did not cast their franchise. One MLA of UDF ally IUML is on leave as he is unwell.
With inputs from agencies
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Mar 24, 2018 15:54:42 IST