National

Rajasthan: Polling underway for three Rajya Sabha seats

PTI Jaipur | Updated on June 19, 2020 Published on June 19, 2020

Voting for three seats of Rajya Sabha began on Friday in Rajasthan assembly building.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, BJP state president Satish Poonia, former chief minister Vasundhara Raje were among those who cast their votes in the initial hours of voting.

The polling began at 9 am and will get over by 4 pm. The counting of votes will begin at 5 pm.

Social distancing norms and other precautions are being taken in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Horse trading allegation

To cast their votes, the MLAs reached the assembly in buses from the hotels where they had been staying. Congress MLAs, independents and legislators of other supporting parties reached the assembly in six buses from a resort on Delhi highway where they had been staying since last week whereas BJP MLAs, who were also staying in another hotel in Sitapura also arrived in buses.

The Congress had confined its MLAs to the resort alleging that the BJP was trying to lure them away ahead of the election while the saffron party rejected the charge as theatrics.

Earlier this week, the opposition party too brought its MLAs together at another hotel, saying it wanted them to get some “training” for the polls.

The nominees

The Congress has nominated K C Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi for the RS polls, while the BJP has fielded Rajendra Gehlot and Onkar Singh Lakhawat. The BJP had initially nominated only Rajedndra Gehlot but it later sprang a surprise by naming Lakhawat on the last day for nominations.

In a House of 200, the Congress has 107 MLAs and is supported by independents and legislators from the Rashtriya Lok Dal, CPM and Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP). The BJP has 72 MLAs and the support of three Rashtriya Loktantrik Party members.

Rajasthan has a total of 10 Rajya Sabha seats with six of them currently held by the BJP and one by the Congress. Friday’s polling is for the remaining three seats.

The lone Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan is former prime minister Manmohan Singh. He was elected unopposed in the Rajya Sabha bypolls held last year when the seat fell vacant after the death of BJP MP Madan Lal Saini, who was also the party’s state president.

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Published on June 19, 2020
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