Rajya Sabha Elections LIVE Updates: Voting for three vacant Rajya Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh concluded on Friday afternoon after all the 206 MLAs, including a Congress legislator who has tested Covid-19 positive, cast their votes. Voting began at 9 am in the state assembly complex here and ended around 1.15 pm, an assembly official said.
Meanwhile, attired in saffron jacket, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani arrived this morning to cast his vote, while other BJP leaders rushed to convince Chhotubhai Vasava’s Bharatiya Tribal Party to vote in their favour. BTP till now decided to abstain from voting.
Hectic scenes were witnessed in eight states as polling began. While Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot were among the first leaders to cast their votes, BJP MLAs in Rajasthan were ferried to state assembly in three buses. In Gujarat, Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Kesarisinh Solanki arrived in an ambulance to vote. He had to be admitted late on Thursday after he complained of chest pain. On the other hand, former CM Kamal Nath is hosting breakfast for 92 MLAs at his residence.
Elections for 19 Rajya Sabha seats is being held between 9 am and 4 pm, and counting of votes will commence from 5 pm today. States like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan will be watched closely as a keen contest between the BJP and the Congress is set to take place. While voting will take place on four seats in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat each, thre in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan each, two have been vacant in Jharkhand and one each in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Manipur.
Voting for 18 seats were deferred due to the coronavirus pandemic. Later the Election Commission announced polls for fours seats in Karnataka and one seat each in Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. Considering that the effective strength of the assembly is reduced to 172, a candidate will require support of minimum 35 MLAs to win, as per the RS election standard formula. Ten assembly seats are currently vacant — eight due to resignations of Congress MLAs and two due to court cases.
The election in Manipur is also likely to be interesting following the resignation of nine members of the ruling coalition and the opposition Congress pressing for a no-confidence motion against the N Biren Singh government. The BJP has fielded Leisemba Sanajaoba, the titular king of Manipur, while the Congress nominee is T Mangi Babu.
In Karnataka, where elections were to be held for four seats, all the candidates — former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, BJP candidates Iranna Kadadi and Ashok Gasti — have been declared elected unopposed.
BJP nominee Nabam Rebia was also elected unopposed to the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Arunachal Pradesh.
The counting of votes for all the 19 seats will be held on the evening of June 19 itself, the Election Commission said. Legislators vote to elect candidates for the Upper House of Parliament.
The Election Commission (EC) has made elaborate arrangements for the voting keeping in mind the coronavirus pandemic. Every voter (MLA) will be screened for body temperature and will have use mask and adhere to social distancing norms. Legislators having a fever or showing other symptoms will be kept in a separate waiting room.
With many MLAs switching sides, the past few months have seen parties indulging in ‘resort politics’ to keep their flock together. Several MLAs have been lodged in resorts to stop them from “poaching” by rival factions.
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