BJP wins 28 out of 59 seats in Rajya Sabha elections, NDA still short of majority

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is set to improve its tally in the Rajya Sabha, winning 28 of the 59 seats that went to polls this year.

Rajya Sabha election results declared Friday showed that the BJP won nine of the 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh, and one each in Karnataka, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

While 33 Rajya Sabha seats witnessed no election, 26 went to polls on Friday. Of the 33 elected unopposed, 16 were from the BJP, three from its allies and five from the Congress, among others.

The Rajya Sabha election results showed that incumbent regional parties in states such as West Bengal and Telangana continue to perform well.

The BJP’s performance ensures that its dominance as the largest party in the Upper House continues, though the NDA is still short of a majority.

The biggest loser from Uttar Pradesh is the Samajwadi Party (SP), which had six out of the 10 Rajya Sabha seats that went to polls. It retained only one seat, that of Jaya Bachchan.

The BJP won a historic mandate in the Uttar Pradesh elections last year—giving it an edge in the Rajya Sabha elections this year. The party’s gains come at the cost of the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP, which was voted out of power last year.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley is among the BJP candidates who has entered the Upper House from Uttar Pradesh.

The counting of votes was delayed in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Karnataka following complaints by members from different political parties.

In Karnataka, the Congress won in three out of four seats, while the BJP’s tally got reduced to one seat. Overall, the Congress’ gain was on two seats in the state while the BJP lost out on one.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the BJP’s candidate from Karnataka for Rajya Sabha, polled the highest votes, with 50 legislators favouring his candidature. Congress candidates L. Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and G.C. Chandrasekhar got elected. Seven Janata Dal (Secular), or JDS, rebels were allowed to vote despite the party having asked the speaker to disqualify them from the voting process. The seven JDS legislators had defied the party whip in the 2016 Rajya Sabha elections and are all set to join the Congress party on Sunday.

In West Bengal, the chief minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) maintained its tally by retaining four seats. In the fifth, Congress’ Abhishek Manu Singhvi won. The Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, lost out on one seat that it held earlier.

The TMC’s Subhasis Chakraborty, Abir Ranjan Biswas, Nadimul Haque, and Santanu Sen won. Singhvi, who was backed by the TMC, received 47 votes. The CPM’s Rabin Deb, who was backed by other Left parties, lost.

In Telangana, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) won all three Rajya Sabha seats without any hitch. Its winning candidates were Banda Prakash, Lingaiah Yadav and Santosh Kumar. The Congress lost out on two seats which it held earlier.

In Jharkhand, the Congress managed to retain one seat it held earlier and the BJP gained one seat. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) lost out on the one seat it held before the Rajya Sabha elections.

The BJP maintained status quo in the one seat that went to polls in Chhattisgarh. The party’s national general secretary, Saroj Pandey, defeated the Congress’s Lekhram Sahu.

In Kerala, leader of Sharad Yadav-led Janata Dal (United) splinter faction, M.P. Veerendra Kumar, won with 89 votes. He was supported by the Left Democratic Front (LDF), which has 91 seats in the 140-member state assembly.

The lone seat had fallen vacant because of Kumar’s resignation from the Rajya Sabha in December, in protest against JD(U) chief and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar joining ranks with the NDA.

Six members of Kerala Congress (Mani) abstained from voting. The lone BJP member, O. Rajagopal, and independent member P.C. George also abstained. One member of the Indian Union Muslim League could not vote due to ill-health.livemint

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