Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal, Congress’s Randeep Surjewala and Jairam Ramesh and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut were among 16 candidates who were elected to the Rajya Sabha from four states following cross-voting and alleged violations in elections on Friday. Voting took place. In Maharashtra and Haryana, rules delayed the counting of votes by nearly eight hours.
In a display of clever election management, two candidates from the BJP and an independent backed by the party, who had an outside chance of getting elected, won in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Haryana.
Shock to MVA in Maharashtra
The ruling Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance in Maharashtra suffered a setback when the main opposition BJP won three of the state’s six Rajya Sabha seats, the results of which were declared early on Saturday.
The BJP winners include Union Minister Piyush Goyal, former state ministers Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik. Shiv Sena’s omnipresent face Sanjay Raut, NCP’s Praful Patel, former Union minister and Congress’s Imran Pratapgarhi also fought fiercely. Former BJP MP Dhananjay Mahadik defeated Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Pawar in the sixth seat.
“Elections are fought not just for the fight but for the victory. Jai Maharashtra,” tweeted BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis, the Leader of the Opposition whose denial of consensus candidates for the Rajya Sabha led to elections to the Upper House of Parliament after 24 years in the state.
Ajay Maken lost in Haryana
In a major setback to the Congress in Haryana, BJP’s Krishan Lal Panwar and saffron party-backed Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma won two seats, while former union minister Ajay Maken of the old party lost. Returning Officer RK Nandal said Panwar got 36 votes, while Sharma got 23 first preference votes and 6.6 votes were transferred by BJP, taking their tally to 29.6. It was a photo-finish as Maken got 29 votes, but lost as he failed to secure the second preference vote.
After Congress MLA and authorized polling agent BB Batra said the vote of a party MLA had been declared invalid, Kuldeep Bishnoi cross-voted for Sharma, a media baron who had won an independent backed by the BJP and its ally JJP. had entered the fray as a candidate.
Talking to reporters in the assembly premises after 4 am, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said, “I thank all the MLAs who voted for the BJP candidate and the independent candidate. It is in a way a victory for the people of Haryana and a victory for democracy. Responding to a question on Bishnoi voting for Sharma, Khattar said, “He voted after listening to his conscience. I can say that they must have voted after being impressed by the policies and achievements of the Modi government. He didn’t care what action the Congress would take…I congratulate him.
Asked if the party’s doors were open for him, the BJP leader said, “If he joins it, the party will welcome him.”
Strong support for BJP in Karnataka
In Karnataka’s vehement support for the BJP, the ruling party got the last laugh as it won all the three Rajya Sabha seats it had contested out of four in the election. The main opposition Congress managed to win only one of the two seats its candidates were in the fray for, while the JD(S) secured a vacant seat.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, actor-politician Jaggesh and BJP’s MLC Lahar Singh Siroya and former Congress Union minister Jairam Ramesh were declared the winners. Sitharaman and Ramesh have been re-elected to Rajya Sabha from Karnataka.
There was suspense over the outcome of the fight for the fourth seat, which saw a tough fight between all three major political parties, none of which had enough votes for an easy victory.
However, BJP’s Siroya won over Congress’s Mansoor Ali Khan and D Kupendra Reddy (JDS), apparently with the help of cross-voting of rival parties and independent candidates.
Congress applauds Rajasthan’s victory
In Rajasthan, the ruling Congress won three of the four seats and the BJP one.
BJP-backed Independent candidate and media baron Subhash Chandra, whose entry in the fray had added spice to the electoral tussle, got out of the way. Chandra, who had won the previous RS election as an independent from Haryana, tried his luck from Rajasthan. Congress candidates Randeep Surjewala, Mukul Wasnik and Pramod Tiwari were declared elected, and so did Ghanshyam Tiwari of the BJP.
In an interesting development, BJP MLA Shobharani Kushwaha cross-voted in favor of Congress candidate Pramod Tiwari. The BJP immediately suspended him from the primary membership of the party. “When everyone knows that 126 MLAs are with us, why did they (BJP) field an independent candidate? They wanted to try horse-trading, but it didn’t happen.
The victory of Congress candidates has sent a strong message to the country, he said, adding that the party will retain power in the assembly elections next year.
Results were declared in Karnataka and Rajasthan on Friday night, but were delayed amid a heated argument between rival parties over alleged violation of voting rules in Maharashtra and Haryana. Election The commission approved the counting of votes after going through the detailed report submitted by the returning officers including video footage.
The opposition BJP in Maharashtra alleged that three MLAs of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) – cabinet ministers Jitendra Awhad (NCP) and Yashomati Thakur (Congress), besides Shiv Sena MLA Suhas Kande, violated the model code of conduct for voting.
Congress retaliated and demanded the Election Commission to invalidate the votes of BJP MLA Sudhir Mungantiwar and Independent MLA Ravi Rana. State Congress president Nana Patole, in a letter to the CEC, claimed that Mungantiwar “spoiled the voting process” by showing his ballot papers to people other than his party’s election agents. He alleged that Rana openly displayed Hanuman Chalisa, a religious book, and tried to influence other voters. The Election Commission directed the Returning Officer of Maharashtra to reject the vote cast by Shiv Sena MLA Suhas Kande.
BJP candidate Krishan Lal Panwar and independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma had sent a message to the Election Commission accusing Congress MLAs Kiran Chaudhary and Bibi Batra of showing their ballots by marking their ballot papers to unauthorized persons, after which the counting of votes in Haryana for the same reason. was stopped. That the episodes were “duly captured” on cameras.
Elections were held in four states amid fears of horse-trading and allegations of inducement to cross-voting. Major parties grazed their legislators in hotels and beautiful resorts to keep their flocks together, but some could not stop the sheep from jumping into the ditch.
With inputs from PTI