All nine BJP candidates win RS polls from UP, Mayawati’s BSP humbled
Lucknow: In a nail biting finish, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to get all its nine candidates in the Rajya Sabha polls elected from Uttar Pradesh on Friday.
Soon after the results were clear, state BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey said it was a victory of democracy and would boost development-oriented politics in the state.
The BJP candidates were Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, national general secretary Anil Jain, national spokesman GVL Narasimha Rao, Vijay Pal Tomar, Kanta Kardam, Ashok Bajpai, Harnath Yadav, Sakaldeep Rajbhar and Anil Agarwal.
Samajwadi Party (SP)’s Jaya Bachchan was also elected to the upper House for her straight fourth term.
The victory of all the nine BJP candidates is being seen in political circles, especially in the ruling party, as a sweet revenge over the sudden coming together of the arch rivals SP and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which together defeated the BJP in the recent Phulpur and Gorakhpur parliamentary bypolls.
Mayawati was heavily depending on the SP’s nine votes, Congress’s seven and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD)’s one vote and was expecting that with the help of “secular forces”, she would be able to push her lone candidate Bhim Rao Ambedkar to the finishing line.
Her own party legislator Anil Singh, however, threw a spanner in her calculations as he voted on the voice of the “antaratma” (conscience) and sided with the BJP. BSP legislator Mukhtar Ansari was barred by the Allahabad High Court from taking part in the poll process, making the BSP poorer by another vote. SP MLA Hari Om Yadav also could not vote for being in jail.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath camped in the Vidhan Sabha building all through the day monitoring the voting and was reportedly working the wires to ensure that “all was going as planned”.
SP’s Aman Mani Tripathi also sided with the BJP, but Kunda legislator Raghuraj Pratap Singh aka Raja Bhaiyya, however, declared that he had voted with the SP. His hatred for Mayawati, who jailed him and his father during one of her tenures, is well known. He said he was voting for the SP and not the BSP candidate.
His meeting after the vote with the Chief Minister, however, triggered speculations on whether he had switched loyalties. But, this was not to be, finally.
Counting of votes was earlier held up for two hours after complaints were raised on balloting process. The voting began earlier in the day at 9.00 am and 400 legislators cast their votes up to 4.00 pm.
Uttar Pradesh Assembly has 403 members. Apart from Mukhtar Ansari and Hari Om Yadav who could not vote for being in jail, there was also no one to vote from the Noorpur assembly seat in Bijnore, as it lies vacant following the death of BJP MLA Lokendra Pratap Singh.
The Congress and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) had extended their support to BSP candidate Bhim Rao Ambedkar. Like BSP’s Anil Singh, Nishad Party legislator Vijay Mishra and SP’s Nitin Agarwal also openly broke ranks with their parties and voted for the BJP. All four legislators of the Suhaildev Bahujan Samaj Party (SBSP) which is an ally of the BJP voted for it.
In West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) bagged four seats, while the Congress, which fielded Abhishek Manu Singhvi, won one seat in the RS polls.
All four TMC candidates — sitting Rajya Sabha member Nadimul Haque and first time nominees Subhasish Chakraborty, Abir Biswas and Santanu Sen — emerged victorious in the vote count.
Scenes of recrimination played out at the Vidhana Soudha earlier today, as JDS leader and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy charged that the returning officer allowed two Congress leaders to recast their vote after they ‘cross-voted’.
Chief minister Siddaramaiah dismissed the allegation as ‘false’, saying that before casting their votes, the two MLAs realised they had made a “mistake” on the ballot paper, so they took another one for which “there is a provision in law.”
When the counting of votes ended, the Congress party’s Dr L Hanumanthaiah, Dr Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrasekhar won three RS seats. The BJP’s Rajeev Chandrashekar won in the fourth seat.
In Telengana, the state’s ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) won all three RS seats for which polling was held today.
B Prakash, J Santosh Kumar and AB Lingaiah Yadav were elected to the Upper House, whereas Congress candidate and former union minister P Balram Naik was defeated.
The BJP (five members), Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and CPI-M abstained from voting.
Whereas in Chhattisgarh the BJP candidate Saroj Pandey was elected to the RS by defeating Congress nominee Lekhram Sahu by a comfortable margin.
JD(U)’s Veerendra Kumar secured the single Rajya Sabha seat up for grabs in Kerala. He was supported by the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and polled 89 votes to defeat B Babu Prasad, the opposition UDF candidate.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday took a swipe at SP describing it as “opportunistic”, as it got votes of the BSP in bypolls to Gorakhpur and Phulpur parliamentary seats but failed to transfer its own in the election for 10 Rajya Sabha seats of the state.
In his attack on the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Chief Minister also cautioned the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), saying the results are a signal for Mayawati, the party supremo, whose candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar got defeated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominee Anil Agarwal in a close contest for the 10th seat.
“The opportunistic face of SP has been once again exposed. It can take from others but can’t give,” Yogi told media persons after the BJP won nine out of the 10 seats.
Without taking name of Mayawati, he said the election results are a “signal for some” and “they should be cautious”.
“Signals are enough for an intelligent person,” he added.
The Chief Minister dedicated the party’s victory to the people of state.