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Congress suffers shock defeat in Himachal Rajya Sabha polls as 6 MLAs cross-vote, BJP wins by draw of lots

BJP emerged victorious in the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday. BJP's Harsh Mahajan was up against Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Shimla Updated on: February 28, 2024 6:02 IST
Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and Jairam Thakur
Image Source : PTI Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and Jairam Thakur

Rajya Sabha election 2024 results: In a massive development, BJP candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls from Himachal Pradesh, Harsh Mahajan emerged victorious in the election on Tuesday. He was up against Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi. The BJP claimed that both Congress and BJP candidates received 34 votes each. The party further claimed that the decision regarding its victory was made by toss after both parties received equal number of votes. The BJP candidate won with the draw of lots.

The lone seat for the Rajya Sabha from Himachal Pradesh went to polls on Tuesday. The voting began at 9 am. The counting of votes began at 5 pm.

Earlier in the day, sources said that nearly 8 to 9 MLAs of the Congress cross-voted for the BJP in the polls.

Both the BJP and the Congress candidates got 34-34 votes out of 68 MLAs. BJP polling agent was adamant on the demand of canceling the vote of ailing Congress MLA Sudarshan Bablu, who was brought for voting through helicopter, as a violation of the code of conduct. The matter was referred to the Election Commission of India.

BJP's Jairam Thakur reacts

Himachal Pradesh LoP Jairam Thakur said, "Despite having such a huge majority, Congress lost the Rajya Sabha seat...I congratulate Harsh Mahajan once again..."

Thakur further said that the sitting Chief Minister should step down after the results as his MLAs "left him within a year".

"We are rightly saying that looking at this victory, the Himachal Pradesh CM should resign from his position...The MLAs have left him just within a year," he said.

"I congratulate PM Modi because here, in Himachal Pradesh, where we are not in power, the BJP has won one Rajya Sabha seat and the credit goes to JP Nadda and Amit Shah," he added.

BJP candidate reacts to massive development

BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan said, "This is the victory of BJP, of Narendra Modi, of Amit Shah."

Abhishek Manu Singhvi congratulates BJP candidate

Conceding defeat in the elections, Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "I congratulate Harsh Mahajan (BJP candidate). he has won."

 

Rajya Sabha election in Himachal Pradesh

One seat for the Rajya Sabha from Himachal Pradesh went to polls on Tuesday. The voting began at 9 am. The counting of votes began at 5 pm.

Earlier in the day, sources said that nearly 8 to 9 MLAs of the Congress cross-voted for the BJP in the polls. 

In the assembly with 68 MLAs, Congress has 40 votes while BJP has 25 votes. Congress  also claimed the support of three independent MLAs. But despite BJP not having sufficient numbers, it has fielded candidates in the elections.

Sukhu lashes out at BJP

Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu appealed the BJP leaders "not to pressurise the officials".

"Counting of votes is underway and the way opposition leaders are threatening the counting officers, is not good for the democratic setup. I want to appeal to Himachal BJP leaders not to pressurise the officials. The people of the state won't accept this conduct," he said.

The term for Rajya Sabha MPs is six years, and elections are held after every two years for 33 per cent of the seats. Currently, the Rajya Sabha has a strength of 245 members.

The Rajya Sabha MPs are elected by the MLAs in an indirect election through the system of proportional representation. They are mostly foregone conclusions, with elections being held unopposed and all party candidates sailing through.

 

(With inputs from agencies)

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