Ambika Soni, Mohsina elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha (Roundup)

June 11th, 2010 - 12:39 am ICT by IANS  

Ambika Soni New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni and Congress leaders Mohsina Kidwai and Satish Sharma were among the 27 candidates across five states elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha Thursday, the last date for withdrawing nominations for the biennial elections to the upper house of parliament.
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh and five others were June 7 declared elected unopposed from Andhra Pradesh. Elections will, however, be held across seven states June 17 but the candidates of the major political parties are assured of victory.

The Congress’ Soni and Akali Dal’s Balwinder Singh Bhunder were elected to the Rajya Sabha from Punjab without a contest as they were the only candidates in the fray.

Kidwai and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tribal leader Nand Kumar Sai were re-elected from Chhattisgarh.

In Tamil Nadu, six candidates - K.P. Ramalingam, T.M. Selvaganapathy and S. Thangavelu from the ruling DMK, P.H. Manoj Pandian and K. Ramalingam from the AIADMK and Sudarshan Nachiappan from the Congress, were elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha.

In Maharashtra also, six candidates from various parties were elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from after an independent candidate withdrew at the last minute.

The Congress’ Vijay Darda and Avinash Pandey, the Nationalist Congress Party’s Tariq Anwar and Ishwarlal Jain, the BJP’s Piyush and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut were the successful candidates.

Congress leader Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, who filed his nomination as an independent, withdrew at the last minute paving the way for the unopposed election of the remaining six party supported candidates.

In Uttar Pradesh, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party got seven of the 11 seats. Congress leader Satish Sharma and BJP’s Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi were among those elected uncontested. Two seats were won by the Samajwadi Party.

In Karnataka, liquor baron Vijay Mallay’s bid to enter the Rajya Sabha for the second time as an Independent rests on the ruling BJP as the Congress did not withdraw its second nominee Thursday, leaving five candidates in the fray for four seats.

Two nominees of the BJP, former president M. Venkaiah Naidu and state leader Ayanur Manjunath, are sure of victory as the party has 116 members in the 225-member assembly and has the backing of five of the six Independents.

A candidate requires 45 first preference votes of the legislators, who make up the electoral college, to win.

The BJP will be left with 26 surplus votes which Mallya, backed by the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) which has 27 members in the assembly, hopes will see him through.

The Congress, with 74 members, is assured of one seat for which it has re-nominated party general secretary and former union minister Oscar Fernandes.

It has also fielded T.V. Maruthi, a Karnataka businessman, as its second nominee and retained him in the field to give Mallya a fight.

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