Despite Having Numbers, SP Loses Rajya Sabha Elections; Cross Voting Ensured BJP Win in UP

Luring Opposition MLAs in its fold, the BJP won one additional Rajya Sabha seat each in UP and Himachal Pradesh to take its tally 10 instead from the estimated eight.
The elected RS members with CM Yogi
The elected RS members with CM Yogi

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won 10 seats of the total 15 seats of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) that went to polls from three states — Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka.

As per its numbers in the assemblies of these states, the saffron party should have got only eight seats. But the party’s tally rose by two as a result of cross-votings in Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh where Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress MLAs voted in favour of BJP candidates — apparently because their political ambitions remained unfulfilled.

With cross voting in Himachal Pradesh, Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu-led Congress government in Himachal Pradesh is now in danger. 

In UP, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav also seems to be in a mood to take strict action against his rebel MLAs.

Based on its numbers, the SP had fielded a total of three candidates for the Upper House. The BJP made the elections exciting by fielding eight candidates. Despite the support of the Congress, the SP could not make its third candidate Alok Ranjan win the election. 

With cross-voting by SP legislators and help the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) and Independent MLA Raja Bhaiya, the BJP ensured the victory its eight candidate Sanjay Seth — who got 43 votes (29 in the first preference and 14 in the second). 

Senior Congress leader RPN Singh, who joined the BJP in 2022, got 37 votes to emerge as victorious. Its remaining seven candidates — Amar Pal Maurya, Tejveer Singh, Naveen Jain, Sadhna Singh, Dr. Sudhanshu Trivedi, Dr. Sangeeta and Balwant — got 38 votes each. 

On the other hand, SP’s Jaya Bachchan got 41 votes, Ramji Lal Suman 40 and Alok Ranjan 19 in first preference and 27 votes each in the second preference.

Giving a blow to the SP in the state, the BJP not only won one additional seat but also included seven MLAs in its fold. A total of 399 MLAs had to cast their votes, but they could not do so as two SP MLAs and one SBSP legislator were lodged in jail. In addition, one SP MLA Maharaji Devi abstained from voting. 

Meanwhile, SP MLAs Manoj Pandey (who on February 27 resigned as the party’s chief whip), Rakesh Pratap Singh, Abhay Singh, Rakesh Pandey, Pooja Pal, Vinod Chaturvedi and Ashutosh Maurya voted for BJP candidate Sanjay Seth.

Cross Voting Happened in HP As Well

Himachal Pradesh had a total of 68 votes, of which the Congress had 40 votes. Based on the party’s strength in the state Assembly, its stalwart Abhishek Manu Singhvi was certain to win, but BJP’s Harsh Mahajan turned the tide. 

Despite the saffron party having only 25 MLAs, Mahajan managed to secure 34. Singhvi also got 34 votes. It resulted in a tie. As per Election Commission’s guideline, a lucky draw was conducted and Mahajan, who switched over to the BJP ahead of the state election, was declared as winner.

Six disgruntled Congress MLAs and three independents cross-voted and ensured the BJP candidate’s victory.

Congress’ Management Worked in Karnataka

A BJP MLA from Karnataka also cross-voted in favour of the Congress — letting the grand old party bag all three seats from the state. The Congress management ensured that a few disgruntled BJP legislators, who were also not willing to vote for the Congress, abstain from voting.

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