Published: Sun, March 25, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Rajya Sabha voting begins

Rajya Sabha voting begins

Besides UP where finance minister Arun Jaitley is in the fray and who is certain to win, West Bengal, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Telangana will also feature in the polls.

While, Rajya Sabha 33 seats witnessed no election, 26 went to polls on Friday. She also extended her gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP National President Amit Shah and Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh for giving her chance to contest Rajya Sabha elections. The BJP now has 58 members in the Rajya Sabha followed by 54 of the Congress. Voting will conclude at 4 pm following which counting will take place.

Apart from UP, the election for two seats in Jharkhand will become eventful with the ruling BJP fielding its second candidate, businessman Pradeep Sonthalia, for the second seat against the Congress's Dhiraj Sahu. Though even this didn't help the Opposition win, it must have given them solace on how they managed to get the two votes invalidated. "An environment of fear was created due to which there was some cross-voting done", said the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.

There were rumours that some BJP MLAs and Suheldev Bharitya Samaj Party members might cross-vote in support of the BSP candidate.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 9 out of 10 Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh while SP won only one.

In Telangana, TRS candidates B Prakash, B Lingaiah Yadav and J Santosh Kumar were elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Lalu Prasad Yadav falls ill in jail, admitted to RIMS hospital
Meanwhile, the special CBI court of Shivpal Singh on Saturday again deferred verdict in the fodder scam case RC 38A/96. The multi-million-rupee fodder scam surfaced in the 1990s when Lalu Yadav was Chief Minister of undivided Bihar.

After the bypoll win, Mayawati had hoped that none of her party MLAs will defect or be lured by the BJP.

Earlier, after receiving the winning certificate, a huge rally of party workers led newly elected Rajya Sabha Member Saroj Pandey to BJP state headquarters, where she participated in celebrations along with them. Apart from Mukhtar Ansari and Hari Om Yadav who could not vote for being in jail, there was also no one to vote from the Noorpur assembly seat in Bijnore, as it lies vacant following the death of BJP MLA Lokendra Pratap Singh.

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, supported by the Trinamool Congress, won in West Bengal, while the CPM's Rabin Deb, backed by the Left, lost.

The remaining seat went to the Samajwadi Party in the polls marred by cross-voting from both the sides, which led to the defeat of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party candidate in the prestigeous battle of ballots, touted as a test for the new-found bonhomie between the parties headed by Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati. "As many as 18 Congress MLAs wanted to cross-vote, but were restricted by the election officers". Counting was delayed as SP and BSP moved Election Commission (EC), alleging that Anil and Agrawal did not show their votes to the agent of the party before casting. Dalit writer L Hanumanthaiah, the party's first candidate, polled 44 while Syed Naseer Hussain secured 42.

"Election officers are working like the ruling party's agents".

Members from parties such as BJD, TDP, RJD and JD (U) were elected unopposed on 15 March, the last day for filing of Rajya Sabha nominations.

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