Amid cross-voting, RS polls wrap up
BJP sweeps Rajasthan; Venkaiah Naidu, Kabil Sibal, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Jairam Ramesh make the cut
Jaipur/Bhopal/Bengaluru/Ranchi/Lucknow: It was a busy day for Parliamentarians across the country, as Rajya Sabha polls were in full swing. In Rajasthan, all four BJP candidates, including Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and senior BJP leader Om Prakash Mathur, won the elections for the four Rajya Sabha seats from Rajasthan on Saturday.
Women MLAs cast their vote for Rajya Sabha elections in Bhopal on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Mathur, popularly known as Om Mathur, who is considered close to the central leadership is also national vice president of the BJP. Harshvardhan Singh and Ramkumar Verma were the new faces fielded by the BJP. There was jubilation in the BJP camp after declaration of the result, with party MLAs and workers setting off firecrackers and dancing. In Madhya Pradesh, BJP candidates MJ Akbar and Anil Dave and Congress' Vivek Tankha were elected, while an independent candidate backed by BJP was defeated. BJP's bid to spoil the Congress candidate's chances by fielding BJP leader Vinod Gotia as an independent did not bear fruit.
In Karnataka, Union Minister Nirmala Seetharaman and Congress' Jairam Ramesh, Oscar Fernandes and KC Ramamurthy won seats. Here voting was highlighted by cross voting from JDS. Dissidence-hit JD(S) suffered a humiliating blow with eight of its MLAs cross voting in favour of Congress, with the party admitting it even before the polling deadline ended. Congress' candidate, former IPS official KC Ramamurthy pulled off a resounding victory as he secured 52 votes, aided by the support of Independents and JDS rebel MLAs.
In Jharkhand, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Mahesh Poddar bagged the two Rajya Sabha seats for BJP. Poddar won on Naqvi's first preference vote. Major political parties in Uttar Pradesh ensured victory for all their candidates despite cross voting. Congress leader Kapil Sibal emerged triumphant against BJP-backed Independent and socialite Preeti Mahapatra. Besides Sibal, the others who made it to the Rajya Sabha from the state are two recent returnees to SP-fold, Amar Singh and Beni Prasad Verma.