Three Bharatiya Janata Party leaders along with one Congress candidate were elected to the Rajya Sabha on Friday from Gujarat, PTI reported. In total, the BJP won eight seats across the country, while the Congress won four.
The counting of votes for four Rajya Sabha seats in the state was delayed by about four hours, instead of starting at 5 pm as scheduled, after the Congress demanded that the Election Commission invalidate two BJP votes. Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani said the Congress sought cancellation of votes cast by BJP MLA Kesrisinh Solanki and minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama. The Congress said Chudasama’s election was cancelled by Gujarat High Court last month. However, the Supreme Court had stayed that order. The party also claimed that an unauthorised person accompanied Solanki inside the polling booth, referring to a person who was deployed to move his wheelchair as he came directly from the hospital.
However, the poll body rejected the demand. Three BJP candidates – Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramila Bara and Narhari Amin – and one Congress candidate – Shaktisinh Gohil – were declared winners. The Congress also fielded former Union minister Bharatsinh Solanki for a second seat but he lost.
“Our candidates Abhay Bharadwaj and Ramilaben Bara got 36 votes each and third candidate Amin got 32 votes in first preference and after addition of second preference votes his total came to 35.98 votes,” Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said. “Gohil of Congress got 36 votes and Solanki got 30 votes plus some 1.99 second preference votes which added up to 31.9. So Solanki lost.”
The voting for 24 Rajya Sabha seats across 10 states was held earlier in the day. Most of them were deferred following the coronavirus pandemic. Elections were held for four seats each in Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, three each in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, two in Jharkhand and once each in Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Manipur.
The Congress won two of three seats from Rajasthan in Rajya Sabha elections, while the Bharatiya Janata Party secured the third. In Madhya Pradesh, the ruling saffron party won two seats and the Congress bagged one. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party won all four Rajya Sabha seats from the state.
Four seats in Karnataka and one in Arunachal Pradesh were also supposed to go to polls, but the candidates were declared elected unopposed. Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge were among the MPs elected.