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BJP avenges Lok Sabha by-poll defeat, wins 9 out of 10 UP Rajya Sabha seats

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath slammed SP-BSP and said that their 'opportunistic' faces are again out for people of Uttar Pradesh to see.

Reported by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: March 23, 2018 23:56 IST ]
CM Yogi and others show victory sign after clinching 9 RS seats

The BJP on Friday took a sweet revenge on the opposition by ensuring victory of all its nine candidates in the keenly watched Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, days after it lost two crucial seats in the Lok Sabha bypolls in the state. 

The remaining seat went to the Samajwadi Party in the polls marred by cross-voting from both the sides, which led to the defeat of the BSP candidate in the prestigeous battle of ballots, touted as a test for the new-found bonhomie between the parties headed by Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati. 

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a press conference late on Friday congratulated the candidates for the massive victory. 

He also slammed SP-BSP and said that their 'opportunistic' faces are again out for people of Uttar Pradesh to see. 

Besides BJP's prominent winner Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, others who made it to the Upper House of Parliament from the party are Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, Harnath Singh Yadav, GVL Narasimha Rao and ninth candidate Anil Kumar Agarwal, who pulled off a surpise win with the help of second preference votes. 

Other candidates, including SP's actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan won with the help of first preference votes. 

Counting of votes in the Rajya Sabha election from Uttar Pradesh began after a two-hour delay as the opposition Samajwadi Party and BSP lodged a complaint with the Election Commission. 

The opposition parties moved the poll panel against two MLAs who are believed to have cross-voted.

 
"We have given a written complaint to the Election Commission that our MLA Anil Singh did not show his vote to the election agent of the party before casting it and we are awaiting a reply from the EC in this regard," Deputy leader of the BSP in the state Assembly Uma Shankar Singh said. 

The Samajwadi Party also lodged a similar complaint with regard to MLA Nitin Agarwal, who had switched sides after his father quit the party and joined the BJP recently. 

"Nitin Agarwal cast his vote without showing it to the election agent and we have demanded the cancellation of his vote," SP MLC Sunil Singh Sajan said.

With one BSP MLA believed to have cross-voted and two others in jail being denied permission to vote in the Rajya Sabha polls, the opposition faced a challenge of numbers to ensure victory for their second candidate. 

While the ruling BJP was sure of bagging eight of the 10 Rajya Sabha seats, the Samajwadi Party fielded Jaya Bachchan and the BSP Bhimrao Ambedkar for the remaining two seats. 

As the parties totted up the numbers, BSP MLA Anil Singh indicated that he had cross-voted in favour of the BJP, saying "I am with Maharaj-ji", a reference to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. 

The Allahabad High Court had denied permission to BSP's Mukhtar Ansari, currently lodged in the Banda jail, to vote in the Rajya Sabha elections. And a court in Firozabad had rejected a petition by SP MLA Hariom Yadav, who is in the Firozabad jail. 

The Opposition banked heavily on the votes of two Independents -- Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya and his close associate and MLA Vinod Saroj. 

ALSO READ | Rajya Sabha Election Results 2018: BJP wins 9 seats in UP, CM Yogi slams 'opportunistic' SP-BSP

Raja Bhaiya, who has had a rocky relationship with BSP chief Mayawati, had tweeted this morning that he was with "Akhilesh ji" and specified that it did not mean that he was with the BSP. 

The BSP did not take an adverse view of Raja Bhaiya's comment. "... had he had any reservations he would have said openly," said Uma Shankar Singh. 
He added that he could not be sure that Anil Singh had voted for the BSP candidate. 

Adding a tinge of surprise, Raja Bhaiya later met the chief minister, leaving political analysts wondering as to why he met Yogi Adityanath.
 
"I discussed issues pertaining to my constituency (Kunda). Every MLA has the right to discussed matters related to his or her constituency with the chief minister," he said. 

Keeping it ambiguous, Anil Singh said that he had cast his vote and showed it to BSP agent Lalji Verma and the rest could be known from him. 
"I have cast my vote after showing it to Lalji Verma and he will tell you the details...I am with Maharaj-ji (Adityanath)," he said after voting at the Tilak Hall in the Assembly complex. 

According to Uma Shankar Singh, 17 MLAs of the total 19 BSP legislators had cast their votes by midday and shown them to Verma. 

The BSP leader exuded confidence that all the nine surplus MLAs of the Samajwadi Party as well as seven of the Congress and one of the RLD have voted in favour of his party candidate. 

"All the seven Congress MLAs went together to vote, while the SP has given us a list of their loyal MLAs," Uma Shankar Singh said. 

Independent MLA Aman Mani Tripathi also said he was with "Maharaj ji" and would vote for the BJP. 

There were 11 candidates for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats and 37 first preference votes were required for victory in each seat. 

Karnataka

The ruling Congress won three seats and opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) one in the Rajya Sabha biennial election for four seats in Karnataka.

"All three Congress candidates and one from the BJP won the contest while the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) candidate lost for the fourth seat," an Election Commission official told reporters here after counting of votes.

L. Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and G.C. Chandrasekhar of the Congress and Rajeev Chandrashekar of the BJP were declared elected by the Returning Officer.

B.M. Farooq of the JD-S lost to G.C. Chandrasekhar of the Congress.

Kerala

Left Front-backed candidate M.P. Veerendra Kumar won the Rajya Sabha by-election from Kerala by securing a huge margin against Congress candidate Babu Prasad.

Kumar, who resigned the seat in the Rajya Sabha after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar joined hands with the BJP, contested the seat after shifting from the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).

The 80-year-old Kumar, a former Union Minister and newspaper baron, secured 89 votes as against 40 that Babu Prasad got.

Counting that was supposed to begin at 5 p.m, took place after a delay of 50 minutes with the UDF leaders complaining that as per the guidelines three parties -- Communist Party of India, NCP and Janata Dal-United -- failed to appoint their agents and that their votes should not be counted.

In the 140-member house, one seat is vacant following the death of a legislator. One vote of the LDF was declared invalid.

Six legislators of the Kerala Congress (Mani), who currently sit as an independent block, the lone BJP legislator O. Rajagopal and independent legislator P.C. George did not vote.

The LDF met here early this month and offered the seat which Kumar himself had resigned in December, after his party JD-U decided to end its alliance with the Congress-led UDF.

Kumar and his party remained part of the LDF till 2009 but shifted to the UDF camp after he was denied his sitting Lok Sabha seat of Kozhikode.

His party nominee was given a Cabinet post when the Oommen Chandy government assumed office in 2011.

Kumar lost the 2014 Lok Sabha polls by over one lakh votes and since then he was unhappy with the UDF too. However, the UDF kept him happy by offering him a Rajya Sabha seat in 2016. wHEN he decided to quit the UDF, he put in his resignation in December last year.

"More than winning, I am happy that I am back with the LDF," said Kumar soon after arriving at the CPI-M headquarters here and was greeted by General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and state party secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

West Bengal

The Trinamool Congress bagged four seats and the Congress one in the Rajya Sabha polls from West Bengal on Friday.

All four Trinamool candidates -- sitting Rajya Sabha member Nadimul Haque and first time nominees Subhasish Chakraborty, Abir Biswas and Santanu Sen -- emerged victorious in the vote count.

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, supported by the Trinamool, also won.

The CPI-M's Rabin Deb, backed by the Left Front, lost.

According to election officials, Trinamool's Chakraborty secured the highest number of 54 votes. Haque and Biswas got 52 votes each and Sen 51. Singhvi garnered 47 votes.

Deb managed to get 30 votes.

The votes of two Trinamool lawmakers - Jakir Hossain and Mrigendra Nath Maiti - were rejected.

Telangana

Telangana's ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) bagged all three Rajya Sabha seats for which polling was held on Friday.

B. Prakash, J. Santosh Kumar and AB. Lingaiah Yadav were elected to the Upper House. Congress candidate and former union minister P. Balram Naik was defeated, officials said.

A total of 108 members of the Assembly voted. Prakash secured 33 votes while Santosh Kumar and Yadav polled 32 votes each. The Congress candidate got only 10 votes as independent member D. Prakash Reddy's vote was declared invalid by the Election Commission.

The poll panel took the decision after the complaint by the Returning Officer that Prakash Reddy showed his vote to the Congress agent before casting it.

The election became inevitable after the Congress fielded a candidate though the TRS had comfortable strength in the 119-member Assembly to win all three seats.

The TRS has 91 MLAs while the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), which has seven members, also supported the ruling party.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) (five members), Telugu Desam Party (TDP) (two) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) (one) abstained from voting.

Two Congress members -- Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, S.A. Sampath Kumar - could not vote as they were expelled from the House last week for allegedly hurling headphones during the Governor's address, injuring Legislative Council Chairman Swamy Goud in his eye.

In Chattisgarh, BJP candidate Saroj Pandey defeated Congress' Lekhram Sahu by a comfortable margin, getting also the votes two MLAs who cross voted in her favour. Pandey secured 51 votes while Sahu got only 36.

WATCH | Yogi Adityanath's press conference

(With PTI inputs)

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