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Polling held in 7 states to elect 27 RS members

by Rinku Khumukcham
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New Delhi, June 11: Polling was held in seven states to elect 27 Rajya Sabha members. These include 11 seats from Uttar Pradesh, four each from Karnataka and Rajasthan, three from Madhya Pradesh, two each from Haryana and Jharkhand and one from Uttarakhand. Voting, which started at 9 AM and concluded at 4 PM.
Out of 57 Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant, voting is taking place 27 seats today as 30 candidates were declared elected unopposed at the end of withdrawal of nominations on June 3.
Prominent among them are Union Ministers – Suresh Prabhu and Piyush Goyal, eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani, Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharati and former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav.
In Uttar Pradesh, 12 candidates are vying for 11 seats. While Samajwadi Party has fielded seven candidates, BSP is contesting two seats and BJP and Congress one each. The BJP is also backing Independent candidate Preeti Mahapatra which will affect the Congress candidate Kapil Sibal the most. Mr Sibal is now looking to Mayawati’s BSP and Ajit Singh’s RLD for help.
In Rajasthan, Five candidates are in the fray including Union Minister M. Venkaia Naidu and BJP’s national Vice President Om Prakash Mathur. 199 MLAs out of 200 will cast their votes to elect the four members. The High Court has debarred one BSP MLA, who is in jail in a murder case, from exercising his vote.
In Madhya Pradesh, victory of BJP’s two candidates is certain as the party has the required numbers but there will be a contest between BJP and Congress for the third seat.
In Jharkhand, voting is taking place for two seats. While BJP’s Muqtar Abbas Naqvi will win the first, there is a contest between the party’s nominee Mahesh Poddar and Congress-backed Jharkhand Mukti Morcha candidate, Basant Soren, who is short of six votes to win the second seat.
In Uttarakhand, three candidates are in the fray for lone seat. They are Congress’ Pradeep Tamta and two independents. BSP MLAs support will be a deciding factor for the victory in the hill state.
In Karnataka, polling is being held after Election Commission refused to cancel the voting following a sting operation showing some MLAs demanding money for their votes. BJP, Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) have fielded their candidates for the four seats in the state.
In Haryana, of the two seats, BJP will win one and there will be a contest between a BJP-backed Independent and an INLD backed one for the second. The Congress has no direct stake but its support will decide the winner.
Congress’s local unit is dead against voting for the INLD backed candidate but if it backs BJP’s candidate it will help increase the rival’s numbers in the Rajya Sabha. Counting of votes will be taken up at 5 PM today.

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