BJP sweeps 8 seats to strengthen its position in Rajya Sabha MVA govt suffers massive setback after BJP wins 3 seats in Maharashtra

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The BJP won eight of the 16 Rajya Sabha seats up for grabs in four states, namely Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Karnataka, thus bolstering its stronghold in the Upper House of the Parliament. With five seats, Congress emerged second. MVA alliance members Shiv Sena and NCP, as well as a BJP-backed Independent candidate from Haryana, bagged the remaining seats.

The results of the elections were declared in the wee hours of Saturday, June 11. The counting of votes was delayed due to allegations of cross-voting and rule violations, and a recount of votes had taken place past midnight.

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BJP secures 3 out of 6 Rajya Sabha seats in Maharashtra

In Maharashtra, the ruling alliance of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress suffered a huge setback as the BJP snatched 3 of the 6 Rajya Sabha seats from the state. Of the 284 valid votes, Union Minister Piyush Goyal got 48 votes, former state minister Anil Bonde- 48, BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik- 41.56, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut- 41, Congress’ Imran Pratapgarhi- 44 and NCP’s Praful Patel bagged 43. While Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena bagged one seat each, BJP secured three seats out of the six. An MLA needed 41 votes to win.

The outcome of this election is crucial as it is believed that it will influence the upcoming Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) and civic elections in the state.

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After the results were declared BJP leader and former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis told reporters, “Dhananjay Mahadik got more votes than Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut and defeated Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Pawar… Tomorrow it will be said that one vote has been cancelled by the Election Commission. Had he (Sanjay Pawar) got that vote, we would have won. Even if Nawab Malik had come, we would have won.”

Meanwhile, after the BJP won three out of six Rajya Sabha seats in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut accused the Election Commission of favouring the saffron party. “Election Commission made our one vote invalid. We objected to two votes but no action was taken on that. Election Commission favoured them (BJP),” Sanjay Raut said.

Election Commission disqualifies Shiv Sena legislator Suhas Kande’s vote

Notably, both BJP and the Shiv Sena had approached the Election Commission, alleging cross-voting and breach of election rules and sought disqualification of votes. Objections were raised against the votes cast by the NCP’s Jitendra Awhad, the Congress’ Yashomati Thakur and Shiv Sena’s Suhas Kande as well as against the BJP’s Sudhir Mungantiwar and Independent MLA Ravi Rana. The poll panel directed the Rajya Sabha election returning officer of Maharashtra to reject the vote cast by Shiv Sena legislator Suhas Kande. All others were ruled to be valid.

Congress to take action against MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi for cross-voting that lead to Ajay Maken’s defeat in the Rajya Sabha polls

Meanwhile, Congress is determined to oust its party’s MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi over accusations of cross-voting. The decision came after it emerged that Congress leader Kuldeep Bishnoi did not vote for his party’s candidate Ajay Maken, and instead cross-voted for a BJP-backed independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma.

Congress’ Ajay Maken lost to BJP-backed independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma in Haryana. The narrow margin of defeat further stung the Congress party after its MLA, Kuldeep Bishnoi, reportedly extended his support to the BJP-backed independent candidate. Following this, Congress sources have now informed that Bishnoi is set to be removed from membership of the CWC and will be suspended from the party.

Rajya Sabha poll results in 4 states

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In Maharashtra out of the six Rajya Sabha seats, BJP backed 3. NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress won one each.

In Rajasthan, the ruling Congress won three of the four seats being contested, while the BJP secured one. Congress candidates Randeep Surjewala, Mukul Wasnik and Pramod Tiwari and the BJP’s Ghanshyam Tiwari were declared elected by the Election Commission late on Friday night.

In Haryana, Congress senior leader and RS poll candidate Ajay Maken lost, while BJP’s Krishan Lal Panwar and BJP-backed Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma were declared elected for the two Rajya Sabha seats from Haryana.

Congress MLA and the party’s authorised polling agent BB Batra said while the vote of a party MLA was declared invalid, MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi cross-voted for Kartikeya Sharma.

In Karnataka, the BJP swept all the three Rajya Sabha seats it had contested. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, actor-politician Jaggesh, and MLC Lehar Singh Siroya of the BJP bagged these three seats. The fourth seat was taken by Congress candidate Jairam Ramesh. JD(S) drew a blank in Karnataka.

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