National

BJP cements its position in Rajya Sabha

Our Bureau New Delhi/ Bengaluru/ Hyderabad/ Ahmedabad | Updated on June 19, 2020 Published on June 19, 2020

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan (left) after casting his vote for Rajya Sabha elections as other legislators await their turn, in Bhopal on Friday, June 19, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Party consolidates its position winning 10 of the 24 seats for which polls were held

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) improved its tally in the Rajya Sabha after bagging 10 of the 24 seats in the biennial elections in 10 States. The NDA now will have the support of about 100 MPs of its own in the Upper House.

Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur and Gujarat witnessed intense political machinations during the campaign. While the BJP blamed bickering within the Congress for issues in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, the Congress alleged that the ruling party was scuttling democratic process.

Convincing win

In Gujarat, BJP won three of the four Rajya Sabha seats, limiting the Congress to just one seat after a high-pitched political drama. A total of 170 of the 172 MLAs cast their votes. Two MLAs from Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) including the founder Chhotu Vasava and his MLA son did not vote, thereby paving way for BJP to secure a third seat in the Upper House of the Parliament.

BJP’s three candidates Abhay Bharadwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin won, while Congress’ Shaktisinh Gohil, a general secretary of the AICC, won.

In Madhya Pradesh, senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh won with 57 votes. Former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sumer Singh Solanki were the successful BJP candidates. One MLA from the BJP cross-voted as the Congress got 93 votes, while the party has 92 MLAs in the Assembly. Congress’s second candidate Phool Singh Baraiya did not win.

Stalwarts come through

In Rajasthan, where the Congress MLAs were kept in a resort near Jaipur, stalwarts KC Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi won. The BJP’s winner is Rajendra Gehlot. Party’s second candidate Onkar Singh Lakhawat did not get the required votes. The Congress hailed the victory as a birthday present to party’s former president Rahul Gandhi, who turned 50 on Friday. Venugopal said his party defeated the ploy to destabilise the State Government.

In Karnataka, the four vacancies to Rajya Sabha were filled unopposed. This time around, even though the election was unanimous, BJP did some social engineering and selected district level workers - Eranna Kadadi and Ashok Gasthi organisational leaders for Belagavi and Ballari zones.

It sent out a clear message to Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa that the party is higher than an individual. While Congress as usual continued to rely on its old war horse and chose Mallikarjun Kharge, JDS sent its supremo and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda with the help of the Congress.

In Andhra Pradesh, four candidates fielded by the ruling YSRCP have been declared elected.

Corporate representation

The election for these four seats was necessitated with the opposition Telugu Desam Party fielding senior leader Varla Ramiah, who lost. Industrialist Alla Ayodhya Rami Reddy of Ramky Group, Reliance Group official backed by YSRCP Parimal Nathwani, and ministers Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose and Mopidevi Venkataramana were declared elected.

In the 175-member Assembly, YSRCP, which has 151 members, fielded four candidates, the TDP with 23 fielded the fifth member. But TDP’s Vallabhaneni Vamshi, MLA from Gannavaram, Maddali Giridhar from Guntur and Karanam Balakrishnamurthy from Chirala constituencies have been staying away bringing down its numbers to 20, the party is assessing the voting pattern in the polls.

In Manipur, where the Congress has staked claim to form the Government replacing BJP-led coalition, the BJP managed the victory of Maharaja Sanajaoba Leishemba.

Published on June 19, 2020
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