The high-stakes Rajya Sabha elections in four states on Friday – Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan and Karnataka turned out to be a nail-biting contest with Bharatiya Janata Party posting a win in three states while the Congress swept Rajasthan.
Polling took place for 16 vacant seats in Rajya Sabha in Rajasthan, Haryana, Karnataka and Maharashtra on June 10. The counting of votes was delayed for several houses in Haryana and Maharashtra with rival parties trading charges. Here’s a look at the state-wise results of the elections.
In a big morale boost for the Congress following the dismal performance in the recently-concluded Assembly elections in five states, the party bagged all three Rajya Sabha seats in the elections amid allegations of horse-trading, while the BJP bagged one seat.
Congress candidates had fielded Mukul Wasnik, Randeep Surjewala, and Pramod Tiwari while BJP’s Ghanshyam Tiwari and media baron Subhash Chandra as independent were in the fray for four vacant seats. Citing fears of cross-voting, the Congress had gathered its MLAs in a resort in Udaipur.
“This is the win of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Gehlot government… This is the defeat of those powers who wanted to buy Rajasthan’s self-respect in vote market, destabilize elected state government, run a bulldozer on democracy… Money and muscle power, income tax, ED, black money lost,” said Surjewala after the poll win.
Explaining the number game in the elections, Congress leader Raghu Sharma said, “All 126 votes of Congress have gone to Congress. BJP wanted to indulge in horse trading but nothing could happen. BJP had 71 votes and RLP had 3. But they did not even get 74 full votes, got 73. This shows BJP is broken, cross-voting happened at their end.”
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot alleged that the BJP attempted to indulge in horse-trading but it did not succeed.
“As I had said, we will win all 3 seats. Everyone knew Congress had full votes and BJP did not. Then why did they even nominate candidates? This means they wanted to indulge in horse-trading which could not happen here,” Gehlot said.
In Maharashtra, BJP was certain to get two seats but the party managed to secure a third seat as well with the help of Independents. Union Minister Piyush Goyal, former state minister Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik from the BJP emerged victorious while one candidate each from Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won.
285 votes were polled on Friday and 41 were needed to win one Rajya Sabha seat.
Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, NCP’s Praful Patel and Congress’s Imran Pratapgarhi were elected without any hassle. However, all eyes were on the contest for the sixth seat where the BJP has fielded Dhananjay Mahadik and Sanjay Pawar was in fray as the Shiv Sena candidate. Mahadik’s came as a setback for Shiv Sena which was hoping to get two seats in the Rajya Sabha elections.
Commenting on the poll results, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said he was not surprised with the results.
“The result doesn’t surprise me. Congress, Shiv Sena, NCP have been voted as per the quota, except (NCP’s) Praful Patel who has received an extra vote – that vote is not from MVA, it’s from the other side. We had fewer votes for the sixth seat but Shiv Sena fielded its candidate and tried to make him win. BJP had the support of many independents MLAs and we had only a few,”
“Devendra Fadnavis’ attempts to take Independents with BJP were successful. This result will not have any effect on the stability of our government,” Before the polling day, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has extended support to Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and said its two MLAs in Maharashtra will vote for Congress candidate Imran Pratapgarhi with an aim to defeat the BJP.
The counting of votes began after 1 am on Saturday following the order of the Election Commission. The counting could not start at its scheduled time on Friday after the BJP approached the EC alleging rules violation by three MLAs of MVA. On the other hand, the MVA had challenged the vote of one BJP MLA.
After the counting, Sanjay Raut alleged that the Election Commission favoured the BJP.
“Election Commission made our one vote invalid. We objected to two votes but no action was taken on that. Election Commission favoured them (BJP),” he said.
BJP won three seats in Rajya Sabha, the Congress one seat while the Janata Dal-Secular drew a blank after the results of elections to the Upper House of Parliament were declared on Friday. Six candidates were in the fray for four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka.
All three BJP candidates– Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, actor-turned-politician Jaggesh and Member of Legislative Council Lehar Singh Siroya–and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh won the elections. JD-S’ Kupendra Reddy and Congress candidate Mansoor Ali Khan suffered the defeat.
Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Kumaraswamy on Friday alleged “horse-trading” in the Karnataka Rajya Sabha elections claiming that Congress leader Siddaramaiah was pressurising JDS MLAs to not vote for their own party but that of the candidate of the grand old party.
JD(S) MLA K Srinivasa Gowda admitted said that he voted in favour of Congress.
In Haryana, BJP scored a comfortable victory winning one of the two seats. BJP’s Krishan Lal Panwar registered victory after 31 votes were polled in his favour. The interesting contest was between Congress Ajay Maken and BJP-backed independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma.
However, Maken lost the Rajya Sabha elections to Sharma, the BJP-backed independent candidate, by a “narrow margin”, a huge shock for the grand old party which was confident of winning the seat.
Polling was held on June 10 to elect two members to the Upper House of Parliament from Haryana. Amid allegations of cross-voting and rule violations, the counting of votes was delayed and there was a recounting of votes that went on past midnight.
Out of 90 MLAs in the Haryana Legislative Assembly, independent candidate Balraj Kundu abstained and a vote, apparently of Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi, was rejected leaving 88 votes valid.
Sharma, who was backed by the BJP and its ally Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), got 29.6 votes while Maken received 29 votes.
Commenting on Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi whose vote was rejected, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that he voted openly after listening to his “inner conscience”.