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Business News/ Politics / News/  Rajya Sabha Elections: High stakes and cross-voting speculations grip 3 states - 5 key things to expect today
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Rajya Sabha Elections: High stakes and cross-voting speculations grip 3 states - 5 key things to expect today

Polling will be held for 10 Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, four in Karnataka and one seat in Himachal Pradesh from 9 am to 4 pm. The counting will begin from 5 pm onwards.

 View of the Rajya Sabha during division for the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill in the special session of the Parliament, in New Delhi, Sept. 21, 2023. (PTI Photo) (PTI)Premium
View of the Rajya Sabha during division for the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill in the special session of the Parliament, in New Delhi, Sept. 21, 2023. (PTI Photo) (PTI)

Rajya Sabha Polls: Elections will be held to elect 15 Rajya Sabha candidates in three states - Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh - on February 27.

Polling will be held for 10 Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, four in Karnataka and one seat in Himachal Pradesh from 9 am to 4 pm. The counting will also be held today from 5 pm onwards.

There are reports of the possibility of cross-voting, especially in Uttar Pradesh and hence, the parties are keeping a keen watch on its MLAs.

Elected unopposed

Forty-one candidates in the 56 seats falling vacant were elected unopposed to the Upper House.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), President JP Nadda, Union Education Minister, Dharmendra Pradesh, Union IT Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw, and former Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi were among the 41 candidates who have been elected unopposed to the Upper House.

JP Nadda was elected unopposed from Gujarat. Vaishnaw was elected for a second time to Rajya Sabha with support from the ruling Biju Janata Dal from Odisha.

Even Minister of State, Information and Broadcasting, L Murugan, was elected unopposed from Madhya Pradesh.

Sonia Gandhi was elected unopposed from Rajasthan. In Bihar, JD(U) leader Sanjay Jha had been elected, while in West Bengal, four Trinamool Congress candidates - Mamata Thakur, Sagarika Ghose, Sushmita Devi and Md Nadimul Haque were elected unopposed.

Uttar Pradesh: Key Contest

The BJP has fielded eight candidates, and the opposition Samajwadi Party three for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats for Uttar Pradesh, the BJP-ruled state. Both the BJP and the SP have numbers to send seven and three members, respectively, unopposed to the Rajya Sabha. But, BJP, by fielding Sanjay Seth as its eighth candidate, has forced a competitive faceoff on one seat.

A candidate needs nearly 37 first preference votes to get elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh. The election is seen as the first electoral test for the INDIA bloc, as the Samajwadi Party and the Congress had sealed a seat-sharing deal in Uttar Pradesh days ahead of the February 27 polls.

Karnataka: Cross-voting expected

Some drama is also expected in Karnataka, which is the Congress-ruled state.

In Karnataka, the ruling Congress has shifted all its MLAs to a hotel ahead of the biennial election to fill four vacancies. Five candidates - Ajay Maken, Syed Naseer Hussain and G C Chandrasekhar (all Congress), Narayana Bandage (BJP) and Kupendra Reddy (JD(S)) - are in the fray. The parties have issued whips to the MLAs, the voters. Here also, there is speculation about cross-voting.

Himachal Pradesh: Congress whip

In Himachal Pradesh, the ruling party, Congress, has issued a whip to all its MLAs to vote for party candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi. The BJP has alleged that the move is to pressurise the MLAs and that the MLAs have the right to vote as per their wish.

The Congress has a clear majority in Himachal Pradesh Rajya Sabha polls with 40 out of 68 MLAs and the support of three independent MLAs.

The Rajya Sabha formula

Rajya Sabha MPs are elected by MLAs through the proportional representation process with the single transferable vote (STV) system. Each MLA’s vote is counted only once.

The MLAs don’t vote for each seat. Instead, the MLAs have to list different candidates in order of their preference. If the MLAs qualified to vote choose a particular candidate as their first choice, he or she gets elected. The remaining votes go to the next candidates but with a lesser value. So, MLAs also vote for candidates from other parties.

The candidate that emerges as number one rank secures a first preference vote. So, a candidate needs a specific number of such first-preference votes. This number depends on the strength of the state assembly and the number of MPs it sends to Rajya Sabha.

Thus, to win, a candidate should get a required number of votes, known as quota or preference vote. The formula is = [Total number of votes/(Number of Rajya Sabha seats + 1)] + 1.

The formula is different in case more than one seat needs to be filled. In that case, the total number of votes required for a candidate is = [(Number of votes x 100) / (Vacancies + 1)] + 1.

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Published: 27 Feb 2024, 09:12 AM IST
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