The results of 27 Rajya Sabha seats, which went for polls on Saturday, were announced in the evening. The results of these polls are perceived to have a bearing on the strength of two parties – Congress and the BJP, in the Upper House. In total, seven legislative assemblies elected 27 members with a very keen contest witnessed in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Haryana.
While 30 of the total 57 seats in the current round of biennial elections to the Upper House have already been decided without a contest, the fate of candidates for the remaining 27 seats will be decided by this evening.
BJP, as expected won all four seats in Rajasthan. Union minister Venkaiah Naidu along with BJP Vice President Om Prakash Mathur, former RBI official Ram Kumar Sharma and Harsh Vardhan Singh, a member of the erstwhile Dungarpur royal family were announced elected.
While Congress party, with 24 MLAs, forced a contest by backing an Independent candidate Kamal Morarka, BJP with its massive strength of 160 MLAs and backing from the two legislators of National Unionist Zamindara Party and three Independents had a prior advantage.
It was advantage Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, whose all seven candidates registered victories. With these elections, former heavyweight Amar Singh has made a comeback along with Beni Prasad Verma and Reoti Raman Singh.
The BSP too won its two seats sending back senior leader Satish Chandra Mishra, while party leader Ashok Sidharth will make a debut in the Upper House.
Congress candidate Kapil Sibal too won a keenly contested polls which were marred with cross-voting exposing crisis-ridden Congress party’s internal dynamics. Congress, which was heavily banking on additional votes from the BSP for Sibal, got a set-back with at least three of its MLAs reportedly voting in favour of voting for BJP-bacaked independent candidate Preeti Mahapatra.
Shiv Pratap Shukla also the lone BJP candidate winning from Uttar Pradesh.
Former union ministers Jairam Ramesh and Oscar Fernandes had a smooth sailing from Karnataka along with Union Minister Nirmala Seetharaman of the BJP. In a good news for the Congress party, former senior IPS officer KC Ramamurthy too registered a victory giving party its third seat in a close contest.
JD (S) candidate BM Farooq, a corporate personality, suffered as his dissidence-hit party was unable to keep its flock together even though it had 40 members and was short of just five votes.
In Madhya Pradesh, BJP’s MJ Akbar and Anil Dave registered victories along with Vivek Tankha of the Congress. Vivek Tankha, a senior lawyer in the Supreme Court, got BSP’s backing as his party was short of just one vote.
Congress with its 57 MLAs, appeared comfortably placed after BSP announced the backing of its four MLAs. A candidate in Madhya Pradesh needs 58 votes for victory.
Another union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi got comfortably elected from Jharkhand. BJP nominee Mahesh Poddar too was elected to the Upper House.
Meanwhile in Uttarakhand, Congress candidate Pradeep Tamta sailed through. While the party itself had 26 seats, it saw through there is no breaking of ranks among its ally PDF which has 6 MLAs. Tamta defeated BJP-backed Independent candidate Anil Goel to win the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Uttarakhand.
There were reports of its state PCC chief Kishore Upadhaya raising apprehensions over the party nominee but in the end party kept its stock intact.
In another keenly fought contest, BJP bagged one seat from Haryana, while media baron and independent candidate Subhash Chandra, who was also bakced by the BJP, sailed through. His victory was largely aided by 14 Congress votes which were declared invalid due to procedural reasons, hence reducing the requisite number of votes required by Chandra.
Chandra defeated INLD candidate and prominent lawyer RK Anand, who was said to have got Congress support as well.