Rajya Sabha Elections: BJP Sweeps UP, Himachal; Congress Bags 3 Out of 4 Seats In Karnataka – News18

Rajya Sabha Elections: BJP Sweeps UP, Himachal; Congress Bags 3 Out of 4 Seats In Karnataka – News18

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Political chaos took over the Rajya Sabha elections on Tuesday as the Congress party won three of the four seats in the Karnataka Assembly and lost the lone Himachal Pradesh seat to the Bharatiya Janata Party amid cross-voting allegations.

Notably, 41 of the 56 candidates were already elected unopposed to the Upper House due to lack of opposition, leaving seats of only three states — Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh — for voting.

Polling for a total of 15 seats — 10 in UP, four in Karnataka and one in HP — took place on Tuesday.

KARNATAKA RESULTS

In a major setback for the saffron party, the Congress won three seats in the Karnataka Assembly with BJP’s ST Somashekhar cross-voting for the grand-old party’s Ajay Maken.

A total of five candidates were running for the seats in the state. This included Ajay Maken, GC Chandrashekhar and Syed Naseer Hussain from Congress, Narayansa K Bhandage from BJP and D Kupendra Reddy of JD(S).

Maken and Hussain bagged 47 votes each while Chandrashekhar got 45 votes and BJP’s Bhandage got 48 votes. JD(S)’s Reddy couldn’t make the cut as he won just 37 votes.

Somashekhar’s cross-voting marred these elections for BJP, while another party legislator A Shivaram Hebbar abstained from voting.

“I don’t know anything about cross-voting. I have not seen how the others have voted. You must ask the BJP. It is they who spoke about conscience votes,” Somashekar said when asked about his vote.

Karnataka deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar took a jibe at the BJP and said that the saffron party and JD(S) that were talking about being conscience vote seekers “have become conscience vote givers”.

“The BJP could have transferred votes in excess of 45 to the JD(S) candidate but it has shortchanged the JD(S) by retaining 48 votes for its candidate,” Shivakumar told the media.

Shivakumar when quizzed regarding Somashekar’s move said that he cast his vote as per his conscience. “It’s a vote against the unholy BJP-JD(S) alliance. The general public, graduates, and teachers have rejected the alliance,” the deputy CM said.

HIMACHAL PRADESH

Himachal Pradesh saw a picture completely different from Karnataka. The BJP’s candidate Harsh Mahajan won over Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi amid cross-voting in the elections.

Mahajan was declared to be the winner after a draw of lots took place since both the leaders were looking at a tie with 34 votes each.

Former CM and BJP leader Jai Ram Thakur claimed that Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu’s government has lost the majority in the assembly amid speculations that nine Congress MLAs voted for BJP’s Mahajan.

Meanwhile, CM Sukhu claimed that 6 Congress MLAs and 3 Independent MLAs voted for the BJP candidate. “Nine cross-votings took place, three of them were Independent MLAs but six others sold their honesty…and voted against him (Abhishek Singhvi)…” he said.

Not only that, CM Sukhu earlier also claimed that six MLAs from his party had gone incommunicado and said that the saffron party had kidnapped Congress MLAs.

However Thakur rubbished his claims and said nobody can buy MLAs.

Earlier, sources said that the saffron party might bring a no-confidence motion against the Sukhu-led Congress government in the state if its candidate — Harsh Mahajan — wins.

UTTAR PRADESH

High voltage drama also took place in Uttar Pradesh as Samajwadi Party’s chief whip Manoj Pandey quit while polling for the Rajya Sabha election was underway.

Earlier on Monday, as many as eight MLAs did not attend a meeting called by the SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.

The BJP won eight out of the ten seats in the UP state assembly while the Samajwadi Party bagged the rest two seats. Retired IAS officer and SP candidate Alok Ranjan lost the seat to the saffron party’s Sanjay Seth, who is an industrialist.

The other seven elected BJP candidates are former Union minister RPN Singh, former MP Chaudhary Tejveer Singh, BJP UP’s general secretary Amarpal Maurya, former state minister Sangeeta Balwant (Bind), party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, former MLA Sadhna Singh and former Agra mayor Naveen Jain.

SP’s MP-actor Jaya Bachchan and party’s Dalit leader Ramji Lal Suman bagged the rest two seats in the UP state assembly.

RAJYA SABHA ELECTIONS 2024

The Upper House elections were crucial for the upcoming general elections as the BJP was looking to further increase its strength in the Rajya Sabha.

Earlier as many as 41 candidates including BJP chief JP Nadda, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, BJP’s new entrant Ashok Chavan, Union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and L Murugan were elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha seats.

The official notice for these elections was issued on February 8 and the deadline for filing nominations was on February 15.

Among 56 seats, Uttar Pradesh has 10, Bihar and Maharashtra have six each, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal have five each, Gujarat and Karnataka have four each, and Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Rajasthan have three each. Additionally, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand each have one seat.

(with PTI inputs)

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