Congress gains, BJP static in Rajya Sabha ballot

March 27th, 2008 - 9:34 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) India’s ruling Congress party made gains but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) failed to better its tally as results of the Rajya Sabha elections poured in from across the country Thursday. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) took its tally from three to four to register the sole gain in the Left camp.

Elections were held Wednesday to fill up 51 Rajya Sabha vacancies spread over 15 states. Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, both ruled by the BJP, will vote Friday to fill up three and two vacancies respectively.

Three prominent faces from the business world including two independents also made it to the upper house: N.K. Singh, Y.P. Trivedi and Parimal Nathwani.

Nathwani is the Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) president. Trivedi is the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) treasurer and an independent director on RIL board. N.K. Singh, chairperson of the Bihar Planning Board, is with the Reliance-backed Observer Research Foundation.

Prominent winners are Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, Prithviraj Chavan from the Prime Minister’s Office (both Maharashtra), Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation G.K. Vasan (Tamil Nadu), Minister of State for Mines T. Subbirami Reddy (Andhra Pradesh) and Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan (Tamil Nadu).

BJP leaders who have made it are former Himchal Pradesh chief minister Shanta Kumar, former journalist Balbir Punj (Orissa) and Rajasthan unit chief Om Prakash Mathur. BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar was elected from Maharashtra.

Former Manipur chief minister Rishang Keishing (Congress), former Puducherry governor Mukut Mithi (Arunachal Pradesh, Congress) as well as C.P Thakur (BJP) made it to the Rajya Sabha.

Sabir Ali was elected from Bihar to give Steel Minister Ramvilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) its maiden entry into the upper house. Ali’s victory was made easier by the support from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Lalu Prasad.

RJD nominee and Minister for Company Affairs Prem Chand Gupta also won from Bihar. But the tally of RJD, ousted from Bihar after 15 years of rule, went down by two seats to just one.

The Congress gained three seats in Andhra Pradesh and one each in Haryana and Tamil Nadu. It lost one seat - held by K. Natwar Singh, who has left the party - in Rajasthan.

The BJP’s overall tally remains at 10. It gained a seat in Rajasthan and gave away one seat in Jharkhand to its ally, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U).

The CPI-M won four seats, including one in Tamil Nadu, the Shiv Sena, NCP, DMK, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and JD-U bagged two seats each, while Forward Bloc, AIADMK and Telugu Desam Party (TDP), RJD and LJP won one seat each.

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