Monday, January 30, 2023

RS polls 2022: BJP’s number falls from 95 to 92; Cong gains 2 seats

The ruling BJP’s strength in the crucial upper house of Parliament has fallen from the current 95 to 92 while the number of Congress members has gone up slightly from 29 to 31 after results of the just-concluded Rajya Sabha elections.
In the biennial elections to the Council of States that which witnessed a keen contest in four states of Rajasthan, Haryana, Karnataka and Maharashtra on Friday, the BJP won 22 of the 57 vacancies while the Congress won nine seats.
From among the 57 retiring members, the BJP had 25 of its members and the Congress had seven who will retire by next month and new ones will replace them.
The BJP’s strength includes four nominated members who have opted to be with the ruling party. The BJP will have the support of seven more nominated members. These seven seats are currently vacant.
The BJP will also have the support of independent Kartikeya Sharma, whom it backed during the just concluded polls in Haryana. Among other regional parties, the strength of YSR-Congress which is in power in Andhra Pradesh, has gone up from the current six to nine seats, while that of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is in power in Delhi and Punjab will now have the strength of 10 seats in the upper house.
The strength of other regional parties like DMK, BJD, TRS, JDU, NCP and Shiv Sena also remains the same as their candidates won as many seats as those who retired.

BJP scripts surprise win in Maha; setback for Congress in Haryana

In a jolt to the opposition camp, the BJP bagged an extra seat each in a nail biting finish in Maharashtra, Haryana and Karnataka including the one won by an Independent it backed to put up a better than expected showing in the Rajya Sabha polls even as the ruling Congress in Rajasthan warded off the saffron challenge.
While the BJP won half of the 16 seats for which polling was held in four states on Friday amid a tussle over cross-voting, the Congress bagged five (3 in Rajasthan, one each in Maharashtra and Karnataka) and its allies in Maharashtra– the Shiv Sena and the NCP one each, according to the final results announced on Saturday. The BJP got three seats each in Maharashtra and Karnataka and one each in Haryana and Rajasthan.
As the elections again highlighted dissension and lack of cohesion in the opposition ranks from Maharashtra to Karnataka and Haryana, BJP-backed Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma, a media baron, won one of the two seats in Haryana defeating senior Congress leader Ajay Maken. The former union minister lost by just two-third of one vote.
As rival parties analysed the outcome of the polls ahead of the Presidential elections, Rajasthan’s BJP legislator Shobharani Khushwaha, Congress’s Haryana MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi and JD(S) lawmaker from Karnataka Srinivas Gowda disturbed the calculations of their respective parties by cross-voting.
Cracking the whip, the Congress expelled Bishnoi from all party positions after it alleged that he did not vote for the party candidate Ajay Maken and cross-voted in favour of Kartikeya Sharma, who was supported by the ruling BJP-JJP combine.
Khushwaha, who voted for Congress nominee Pramod Tiwari, has been suspended by the BJP, pending an inquiry.
Maharashtra’s ruling alliance of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress faced a major setback with the opposition BJP, whose move of fielding a candidate for the sixth seat necessitated a contest after over two decades, registering an emphatic win, which is being attributed to 17 surplus votes of independent MLAs and those from smaller parties.
Former MP Dhananjay Mahadik of the BJP defeated Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Pawar for the sixth seat.
Political analysts said that pulling off a win this way required a deep understanding of the arithmetic of counting of the electoral college and preferential voting pattern. They also credited senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis for his micro-level planning and strategising after his refusal to allow the biennial elections to the Upper House of Parliament to take place without a fight.
BJP’s stunning victory was also acknowledged by veteran politician and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who said Fadnavis, a former chief minister, performed a “miracle” by turning the independent MLAs in favour of his party, which had sufficient number of votes only to ensure the victory of its two candidates.
The Congress suffered a major setback in Haryana where besides Kartikeya Sharma, BJP’s Krishan Lal Panwar also won.
Returning Officer R K Nandal said Panwar got 36 votes, while Sharma got 23 first preference votes and 6.6 votes transferred by the BJP, taking his tally to 29.6. It was a photo-finish as Maken got 29 votes, but lost on account of having failed to secure any second preference votes.

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