Anand Sharma, Venkaiah Naidu, Jethmalani win Rajya Sabha elections (Roundup)

June 17th, 2010 - 11:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) Congress leaders Oscar Fernandes and Anand Sharma, M. Venkaiah Naidu and Ram Jethmalani of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ramvilas Paswan and independent candidate Vijay Mallya were among the 18 candidates elected to the Rajya Sabha in the biennial polls Thursday.
In the keenly watched election in Rajasthan, where five candidates were in the fray for four seats, both the Congress and the BJP won two seats each. Congress candidates Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and A.A. Tak won, while BJP candidates Jethmalini and V.P Singh also got elected.

Congress leader Santosh Bagrodia, who was not the party’s official nominee, lost.

The Rajya Sabha polls from the state followed some high drama as the BJP took all its MLAs to a resort a few days before the polling to prevent any attempts at poaching. The MLAs were in the limelight after a complaint was filed against them for watching a pirated copy of Prakash Jha’a just-released movie “Rajneeti”.

The Congress has 102 legislators in the 200-member Rajasthan assembly, while the BJP has 79 members.

The BJP needed 82 votes to ensure victory for both the candidates. With the Communist Party of India-Marxist, which has three members, abstaining from voting, the BJP only needed 80 votes which it was able to garner thanks to the support of lone Janata Dal-United Fateh Singh and an independent.

Oscar Fernandes and M. Venkaiah Naidu made it to the upper house from Karnataka. Liqour baron Mallya also romped home from the state with support of the Janata Dal-Secular and BJP. The fourth candidate elected from the state was BJP’s Ayanur Manjunath.

While the victories of Naidu, Fernandes and Manjunath was considered certain, the battle for the fourth seat was between Mallya and another business baron T.V. Maruthi of the Congress.

Naidu and Manjunath got 60 first preference votes each, 115 of the party and five independents supporting it. One BJP legislator, former minister H. Halappa, facing rape charges and in hospital, did not vote.

Fernandes got 50 first preference votes out of the 73 Congress members who cast their ballots. One Congress member did not vote as he was not well.

Mallya won with 27 votes of the JD-S, one independent and second preference votes of the BJP.

In Jharkhand, the Congress and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) candidates won one seat each. Deeraj Sahu of Congress got 28 votes and JMM nominee K.D. Singh bagged 32 votes. BJP nominee Ajay Maroo lost the election managing to get only 17 votes.

JMM nominee K.D. Singh, a Chandigarh-based industrialist, is chairman of the Alchemist group. He managed to get the support of 18 JMM legislators, five each of the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and independents.

In Bihar, five candidates from the BJP, Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) were elected to the Rajya Sabha amid cross-voting by some legislators.

Official sources said that Paswan, BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Janata Dal-United’s Upendra Kushwaha and R.C.P. Singh and RJD’s Ram Kripal Yadav were elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Cross-voting by nine legislators, including one from BJP, five from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and two RJD legislators, in favour of the RJD and JD-U in the elections ended the hopes of an independent candidate to make it to the upper house.

BJP legislator Banwari Ram and four BSP legislators, including Sita Sundari, admitted voting for RJD’s Ram Kirpal Yadav ignoring party whips. Another BSP legislator and two RJD legislators voted for the JD-U candidate.

The Bihar assembly has 243 legislators.

Paswan got 39 votes, Rudy got 47 and JD-U’s R.C.P. Singh, a former Indian Administrative Service officer, got 47, while his party colleague Upendra Kushwaha got 48 votes. RJD’s Ram Kirpal Yadav got 38 votes.

The presence of B.G Uday, a a Bangalore-based businessman, as the sixth candidate had created apprehension of cross-voting.

The Congress, with 10 legislators, abstained from voting.

In Orissa, the ruling Biju Janata Dal won all the three Rajya Sabha seats amid charges of horsetrading and kidnapping of MLAs.

Two BJD candidates - Pyari Mohan Mohapatra and Shashi Bhushan Behera won on the strength of the first preference votes while the party’s third candidate Baishnab Charan Parida scraped through in the second round on the basis of second preference votes.

The opposition-sponsored independent candidate Tara Ranjan Patnaik lost the polls.

The polls were held for five states.

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