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Rajya Sabha elections marked by cross-voting; BJP wins 10 of 15 seats in three states

The biggest surprise came from Himachal Pradesh, where Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi lost as six MLAs of the ruling Congress cross-voted in the election.

Rajya Sabha elections marked by cross-voting; BJP wins 10 of 15 seats in three states

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NEW DELHI: The Rajya Sabha polls for 15 seats across three states were marked by cross-voting, with the BJP winning 10 seats, the Congress three and the Samajwadi Party two seats. The BJP was the main gainer, having won an additional seat in Uttar Pradesh and bagging one in Himachal Pradesh.

The biggest surprise came from Himachal Pradesh, where Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi lost as six MLAs of the ruling Congress cross-voted in the election. The BJP's Harsh Vardhan emerged victorious, with the result pushing the over one-year-old Congress government to the brink. BJP leaders said Congress has lost the majority in the assembly but Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that the strength can be tested on the floor of the assembly.

The Bharatiya Janata Party won eight seats in the Rajya Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh and the Samajwadi Party, which had put up three candidates, could win only two seats. The results in Karnataka were on expected lines with Congress, which is in power in the state, winning three seats and the BJP one. Congress candidates got more votes than the party's numbers in the assembly. The BJP-JDS candidate Kupendra Reddy lost the elections. BJP MLA ST Somashekar voted in favour of the Congress.

The eight BJP candidates who won in Uttar Pradesh are former Union Minister RPN Singh, former MP Chaudhary Tejveer Singh, Amarpal Maurya, Sangeeta Balwant , BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, former MLA Sadhna Singh, Naveen Jain and Sanjay Seth. Jaya Bachchan and Ramji Lal Suman of Samajwadi Party also won. Alok Ranjan, the third candidate fielded by the Samajwadi Party, suffered a defeat.

Hailing the outcome of the Rajya Sabha polls, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said that the impact of these results will continue to produce a positive impact on the party prospects in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and also in the next state assembly elections. "We had been saying from the beginning that all eight candidates of the BJP will win. All our eight candidates have won today. I congratulate all the winning candidates. Two SP candidates have also won. So, congratulations to Akhilesh Yadav too. BJP's vijay yatra that began in Rajya Sabha polls will continue in Lok Sabha and then go on till Vidhan Sabha elections and even further," Maurya told ANI.

BJP leaders and workers raised slogans and celebrated the party's performance in Lucknow. Uttar Pradesh BJP MLC Mohsin Raza said that this is not just a victory on eight seats but an indication of the party's preparations for the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.

"We knew that this would be the result. BJP was confident that we would win all 8 seats. I don't understand why the Opposition was dejected. Ye 8 nahi, 80 ki tayyari hai (Not eight, but our preparations on 80 seats). We are going to win 80 after this. We will win 400 in the Lok Sabha elections," Mohsin Raza told ANI. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath felicitated all its eight BJP candidates who won the Rajya Sabha elections.

Responding to the allegations by Samajwadi Party leaders that "BJP is influencing other party leaders to cross-vote", Maurya said the party does not influence any leader to leave and if anyone is involved in cross-voting, then there might be a change of heart. Five Samajwadi Party MLAs had met Yogi Adityanath after casting their vote for the Rajya Sabha election amid speculation that they had cross-voted in favour of the BJP.

Samajwadi Party MLAs Abhay Singh, Rakesh Singh, Rakesh Pandey, Vinod Chaturvedi, and Manoj Pandey met the Chief Minister in the assembly secretariat. Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav said that disciplinary action would be taken against the MLAs if they had cross voted.

"Not everybody has the guts to stand against the government. Pressure is put on everybody, is there anyone who doesn't know that BJP would go to any extent to win. BJP was dishonest during the Chandigarh elections also... When it comes to UP, BJP did everything to get votes and those who left, might not have had the guts to stand against the govt. Action will be taken because our party leaders want such people to be kept away," Akhilesh Yadav said. In Himachal Pradesh, it was a big setback for the ruling Congress as "nine MLAs including six from the party cross-voted in the election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat from the state.

With both Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Harsh Mahajan and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi getting 34 votes each, the winner was decided through a draw of lots. Singhvi addressed a press conference later and conceded defeat while noting that the MLAs who had cross-voted had taught him "a lot about human nature, its fickleness".

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, who was present at the press conference, accused the MLAs who had cross-voted of having "sold their honesty". Answering queries, he expressed confidence of the party overcoming any challenge to its majority in the assembly.Congratulating his rival candidate Harsh Mahajan for the victory in Rajya Sabha polls, Singhvi took a dig at BJP for fielding a candidate for Rajya Sabha polls when the party did not have a majority in the assembly. BJP has 25 members in the state assembly.

"First of all, I extend heartiest congratulations to Harsh Mahajan (BJP candidate), he has won. He deserves my congratulations. I would like to tell his party introspect and think. When a 25-member party fields a candidate against a 43-member party, there is just one message we will shamelessly do that which is not permitted by the law," Singhvi said. He said those who had cross-voted were with them for the dinner yesterday and some of them for the breakfast in the morning."I would also like to thank the nine persons (MLAs) because they have taught me a lot about human nature, its fickleness or its resoluteness. They supped with us...So, I think we are bad judges of human character, they are obviously better judges of human character," he said.

Sukhu said of the nine who had cross-voted, three were Independent MLAs."When someone has sold out their honesty...Nine cross-votings took place, three of them were Independent MLAs but six others sold their honesty...and voted against him (Abhishek Singhvi)," he said. Asked about speculations of the BJP bringing a no confidence motion against him, Sukhu said the majority will be decided on the floor of the assembly.

"Who have gone (cross-voted) are being asked by their families why they did this. So, if the families are asking them, then maybe a few of them would think about 'ghar wapasi'," he said. He said other Congress MLAs had "also been contacted" but they stayed firm.

Earlier, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jai Ram Thakur said that the Congress has lost the Rajya Sabha election and congratulated the party's candidate, Harsh Mahajan for winning the polls." "Despite having such a huge majority, Congress lost the Rajya Sabha seat...I congratulate Harsh Mahajan once again," the former Himachal chief minister told reporters.

Sixty-seven of the total 68 legislators exercised their votes in the Rajya Sabha election in Shimla. In Karnataka, Congress candidates Ajay Maken, Dr Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrashekhar registered comfortable victories. The BJP's Narayanasa Bandage also won.

Ajay Maken got 47 votes, while both Dr Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrashekhar received a total of 46 votes each. Congress has 135 MLAs in the state assembly. "Three candidates from the Congress party have won the Rajya Sabha seats. I thank all voters, the CM and party workers. I would like to thank Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge," Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar said.

The Karnataka BJP said it will file a complaint with Karnataka Assembly Speaker UT Khadar against party MLA ST Somashekar for cross-voting in favour of Congress. Before casting his vote, ST Somashekar told reporters that he will vote in favour of those who "assure me and give confidence that they will give funds for the water and other management in my constituency".

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, who is party incharge of Karnataka, said the result in the state was a "resounding win for Kanadda Pride" "A huge victory for Democracy ! A decisive triumph for I.N.D.I.A ! A resounding win for Kanadda Pride ! An affirmation of sagacious guidance of @INCIndia President, Sh. @kharge ji ! An assertion of NYAY espoused by our leader Sh. @rahulgandhi! A testimony to the leadership, policies, programmes & indelible commitment to the cause of Karnataka by CM Sh. @siddaramaiah and PCC President, Sh. @DKShivakumar," he said in a post on X.

"The Politics of "muscle power" (ED-Income Tax-CBI) & "money power" has been decisively defeated. The Politics of "AAY RAM-GAYA RAM" has been conclusively rejected.Congratulations to Sh. @ajaymaken, Sh. @NasirHussainINC & Sh. @GCC_MP for the resounding victory in Rajya Sabha elections from #Karnataka ! I thank each one of the Congress Legislators and supporting MLA's for the faith, resilience and unwavering belief in the Congress Govt & democracy," he added. Forty one candidates including Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and BJP chief JP Nadda were earlier declared unopposed to the Rajya Sabha in the biennial election to a total of 56 seats.

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