RS polls marked by cross-voting


In UP, BJP wins 10 seats, Congress three and SP two. Cross-voting helps BJP bag an additional seat in UP and one in Himachal…reports Asian Lite News

The Rajya Sabha polls for 15 seats across three states were marked by cross-voting, with the BJP winning 10 seats, the Congress three and the Samajwadi Party two seats. The BJP was the main gainer, having won an additional seat in Uttar Pradesh and bagging one in Himachal Pradesh.

The biggest surprise came from Himachal Pradesh, where Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi lost as six MLAs of the ruling Congress cross-voted in the election. The BJP’s Harsh Vardhan emerged victorious, with the result pushing the over-one-year-old Congress government to the brink. BJP leaders said Congress has lost the majority in the assembly but Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that the strength can be tested on the floor of the assembly.

The BJP won eight seats in the Rajya Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh and the Samajwadi Party, which had put up three candidates, could win only two seats.

The results in Karnataka were on expected lines with Congress, which is in power in the state, winning three seats and the BJP one. Congress candidates got more votes than the party’s numbers in the assembly. The BJP-JDS candidate Kupendra Reddy lost the elections. BJP MLA ST Somashekar voted in favour of the Congress.

The eight BJP candidates who won in Uttar Pradesh are former Union Minister RPN Singh, former MP Chaudhary Tejveer Singh, Amarpal Maurya, Sangeeta Balwant , BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, former MLA Sadhna Singh, Naveen Jain and Sanjay Seth. Jaya Bachchan and Ramji Lal Suman of Samajwadi Party also won. Alok Ranjan, the third candidate fielded by the Samajwadi Party, suffered a defeat.

Uttar Pradesh BJP MLC Mohsin Raza said that this is not just a victory on eight seats but an indication of the party’s preparations for the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath felicitated all its eight BJP candidates who won the Rajya Sabha elections.

Five Samajwadi Party MLAs had met Yogi Adityanath after casting their vote for the Rajya Sabha election amid speculation that they had cross-voted in favour of the BJP. Samajwadi Party MLAs Abhay Singh, Rakesh Singh, Rakesh Pandey, Vinod Chaturvedi, and Manoj Pandey met the Chief Minister in the assembly secretariat.

Cong setback in Himachal

In Himachal Pradesh, it was a big setback for the ruling Congress as “nine MLAs including six from the party cross-voted in the election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat from the state. With both BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi getting 34 votes each, the winner was decided through a draw of lots.

A day after six Congress MLAs cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha elections, Himachal Pradesh BJP leader and former Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Wednesday said he apprised Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla about the current political scenario and expressed apprehension the party legislators might face expulsion from the ongoing Budget Assembly Session that will culminate on Thursday.

He told the media after meeting the Governor that the Congress has lost the majority in the House of 68 and lost the moral right to be in power after six of its legislators cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha poll.

“We have apprehensions that the Speaker might expel all the BJP legislators, plus those who voted in favour of the BJP candidate (for the Rajya Sabha poll) from the Assembly. We sought his intervention as the Speaker will go for Budget passing with voice vote rather than opting for voting on it,” Thakur said.

He said they requested the Governor to ensure regulation of parliamentary procedures.

“The Congress is frustrated now…their government is in trouble not because of us but because of their own deeds,” Thakur added.

In a stunning upset a day earlier, six Congress MLAs cross-voted in the lone Rajya Sabha seat. Those who voted in favour of the BJP’s candidate were Sudhir Sharma (Dharamsala) and Rajinder Rana (Sujanpur), both ministerial aspirants; Inder Dutt Lakhanpal (Badsar); Ravi Thakur (Lahaul-Spiti); Chaitnaya Sharma (Gagret); and Devender Bhutto (Kutlehar). The three Independent MLAs too voted in favour of the BJP.

With this, the Congress has a strength of 34 MLAs, the same number as the BJP.

The Congress late Tuesday rushed its senior leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda and D.K. Shivakumar to Shimla to resolve the crisis triggered by cross-voting.

It is likely that at least four to five more Congress legislators will vote against Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu during the voting of the Budget passing later Wednesday as they are miffed over his confrontationist style and inability to take the legislators along with him.

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