Voting for 19 Rajya Sabha seats spread across 8 states concluded peacefully at 4 pm. Voting began at 9 am in the respective Assemblies and concluded at 4 pm. Polling took place in 8 states simultaneously — Gujarat (4 seats), Andhra Pradesh (4 seats), Rajasthan (3 seats), Jharkhand (2 seats), Manipur (1 seat), Meghalaya (1 seat) and Mizoram (1 seat). Apart from routine preparations, the Election Commission had made special arrangements for sanitisation, social distancing etc. in view of coronavirus outbreak.
The Election Commission had arranged separate entry and exit gates. MLAs were allowed to enter the Assemblies after thermal screening. 18 of the 19 seats are part of the 55 Rajya Sabha seats which fell vacant earlier this year.
Out of these 55 seats, 37 were filled uncontested. Later, the Election Commission announced polls for fours seats in Karnataka and one seat each in Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. While polls in Karnataka and Arunachal were unanimous affair, polling will take place in Mizoram.
Among those who are tipped to enter Rajya Sabha easily for the first time include Jyotiraditya Scindia, Mallikarjun Kharge, Tambi Durai, KC Venugopal and KR Suresh Reddy.
In Rajasthan four candidates, two from Congress and two from BJP were in the fray for three seats. The Congress fielded K.C. Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi, while BJP’s Rajendra Gehlot and Onkar Singh Lakhawat were in the fray.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and BJP President Satish Poonia along with 120 legislators in the 200-member Legislative Assembly had cast their votes.
In Gujarat, BJP has fielded three candidates, while the Congress has given tickets to two candidates. BJP has fielded Abhay Bharadwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin while the Congress has fielded Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki.
Each candidate will requires support of 35 MLAs to win the seat. While the BJP has 103 MLAs, Congress has 65, Bharatiya Tribal Party has two and NCP has one and one independent.
Although the total strength of the Assembly is 182, its effective strength has come down to 172 as 10 Assembly seats are currently vacant – eight due to resignations of Congress MLAs and two due to court cases.
The counting of votes begins at 5 p.m. this evening.