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Business News/ Politics / News/  Rajya Sabha Elections and 'cross-voting': What kept UP, Himachal and Karnataka on the edge?

Rajya Sabha Elections and 'cross-voting': What kept UP, Himachal and Karnataka on the edge?

Rajya Sabha Elections Update: Political parties, leaders and states remained on the edge amid reports claiming that cross-voting happened in all the three states. Here's what happened in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka Rajya Sabha polls.

Rajya Sabha Elections: SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar and Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu. (PTI/ANI)Premium
Rajya Sabha Elections: SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar and Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu. (PTI/ANI)

The Rajya Sabha election fired up amid allegations of "cross-voting" on Tuesday. As many as 15 seats across three states went to the polls on February 27. The voting took place for 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh, four seats in Karnataka and one seat in Himachal Pradesh. The candidates for the remaining 41 seats in other states were elected unopposed.

Follow Rajya Sabha Election 2024 LIVE Updates here

Of the three states, two are currently ruled by the Congress (Karnataka and Himachal) and one by the Bharatiya Janata Party (UP). Political parties and leaders seemed concerned amid reports claiming that cross-voting happened in all the three states.

Rajya Sabha Elections: Here's what has kept political parties and the three states on the edge:

Uttar Pradesh: Setback for SP? 

The Rajya Sabha elections happened for 10 seats in the state. The poll was necessitated after the BJP fielded its eight candidates. The Samajwadi Party (SP) fielded three candidates. Had the BJP not fielded its eighth candidate, the 10 nominees (7 from the BJP and 3 from the SP) would have been elected unopposed.

ALSO READ: Rajya Sabha elections: RLD MLAs herald imminent alliance with BJP, Jayant Chaudhary directs all 9 votes to NDA

The BJP's move seemingly landed SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in troubled waters as reports claimed that seven SP MLAs cross-voted in favour of the BJP. Five SP MLAs — Abhay Singh, Rakesh Singh, Rakesh Pandey, Vinod Chaturvedi, and Manoj Pandey — met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath after the voting, news agency PTI reported.

However, an SP leader claimed that his party secured 102 votes to win all the three seats.

Amid the chaos, Akhilesh Yadav said the contest on the third Rajya Sabha seat is a 'loyalty test' to identify rebels. He posted on X, "Our third seat (bid) in the Rajya Sabha was actually a test to identify the true companions and to know who was with the PDA at heart and who was against the backward classes, Dalits and minorities by conscience." He added that disciplinary action would be taken against the MLAs if they had cross-voted.

Himachal Pradesh: Congress govt in trouble?

In Himachal Pradesh, the BJP forced the contest by fielding Harsh Mahajan against the Congress's Abhishek Manu Singhvi for the single seat, despite not having enough MLAs to win. Harsh Mahajan is a three-time Congress MLA and former minister who resigned from the party in September 2022 and joined the BJP.

As the polling for the Rajya Sabha elections began, the BJP claimed that nine Congress MLAs voted in its favour. Himachal Pradesh Leader of Opposition Jairam Thakur stated that the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu-led Congress government is in a minority in the state.

This sparked speculations of whether the BJP would demand a floor test for the Congress government to prove its majority in the assembly. Thakur was quoted by PTI as saying, "The budget will be presented tomorrow. We will discuss the budget tomorrow and then we will see the situation there. But I can see that the government has lost the majority."

CM Sukhu, meanwhile, accused the BJP of trying to threaten Congress leaders. "The Congress Party strongly condemns it," he said.

Sixty-seven out of the total 68 legislators exercised their votes in the Rajya Sabha elections in Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Congress MLA Babloo was brought to the Assembly in a helicopter as he was unwell.

Karnataka: Setback for BJP-JDS?

In Karnataka, five candidates are contesting for the four seats. The Congress has fielded Ajay Maken, Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrasekhar, while Narayansa Bandage is the BJP candidate. Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Rajya Sabha member D Kupendra Reddy is also in the fray.

In a setback to the BJP-JD(S) alliance, BJP MLA ST Somashekar voted for the Congress during the Rajya Sabha elections in Karnataka on Tuesday. BJP leaders claimed that Somashekar, who is upset with the BJP and had been rebellious against the party, voted in favour of the Congress candidate. They added that the party will be exploring legal options to deal with him.

"We have got the information that Somashekar has done cross-voting. I believe that people do not like cheating every now and then," the Leader of Opposition and BJP leader R Ashoka was quoted by PTI as saying.

Somashekar had quit the Congress and joined the BJP and served as the minister (in the BJP government) and he was made the Mysuru district in-charge minister. Ashoka termed Somashekar’s decision as "political suicide".

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar took a jibe at the BJP and JDU(S) alliance in Karnataka, saying even the BJP MLAs don't want to vote for their ally. Shivakumar said the BJP could get their Rajya Sabha election candidate elected with 45 votes but they took 48 votes, adding that even BJP legislators are not interested to vote for the JD(S).

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Published: 27 Feb 2024, 06:01 PM IST
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