The Bahujan Samaj Party’s Anil Kumar Singh has cross-voted for independent candidate Anil Agarwal, who is backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, in the Rajya Sabha elections that are currently under way, NDTV reported. “I am with Maharaj ji,” Singh declared after casting his vote, referring to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath.
Ten Rajya Sabha seats are up for grabs in Uttar Pradesh, with the BJP assured of winning eight and the Samajwadi Party one. With this one act of cross-voting, the BSP is two votes short of winning the remaining seat. It needs 19 votes in total to win, while now, it has 16 –eight from the Samajwadi Party, the Congress’s seven, and the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal’s one vote
SP leader Nitin Agarwal, however, told ANI that all nine of the party’s candidates would win. The party has backed Anil Agarwal for the tenth seat.
In Karnataka, which goes to the polls in the next two months, elections are being held for four Rajya Sabha seats. A candidate would require the vote of 46 MLAs to get elected. With 124 MLAs, the ruling Congress party will elect 2 MPs and will have 32 balance votes left. It can win a third seat with the help of rebel lawmakers from the Janata Dal (Secular). The BJP’s Rajeev Chandrasekhar is expected to win. The state BJP chief, BS Yeddyurappa, said Chandrasekhar would win at least 50 votes.
JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy accused two senior Congress leaders of cross-voting in the first ballot paper, reported ANI. “The returning officer allowed them to vote again in a fresh ballot paper,” he alleged, without naming the Congress leaders. “Illegal voting is going on.”
In West Bengal, there are six candidates for the five seats being contested. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress has fielded four candidates and has pledged the extra votes to senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
The 58 Rajya Sabha members whose terms are ending are from 16 states, including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. So far, 33 candidates from 10 states have been elected unopposed. Seven Union ministers, including Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar were among them.
The votes will be counted at 5 pm, an hour after polling ends. The Rajya Sabha has a total strength of 245 members of which 233 are representatives of the states and union territories while the remaining 12 are nominated by the president. The vacancies include 17 seats held by the BJP and 12 by the Congress.