Rajya Sabha Elections Today, BJP Goes All Out To Better Numbers: 10 Facts

Polling underway for 57 Rajya Sabha seats in 15 states (File photo)

Voting has begun for 27 Rajya Sabha seats in seven states. In eight other states, 30 candidates have been elected unopposed to the Upper House of Parliament.

Polling underway for 57 Rajya Sabha seats in 15 states (File photo)

Here are the latest developments

  1. In an effort to increase its numbers in the Rajya Sabha, where the government is in a minority, the BJP has supported some independent candidates to try and ensure that the Congress is not able to win any extra seats. It has also fielded its own candidates in some states to grab seats from others.
  2. Six ministers are seeking to return to the Rajya Sabha in these elections. At the end of the elections for 57 seats, the BJP will increase its tally in the Upper House where it has had trouble with pushing legislation. It will still not be the single largest party, but will narrow the gap with the Congress.
  3. The contest being watched most keenly today is in Uttar Pradesh, where the Congress’ Kapil Sibal is counting on the help of Mayawati’s BSP to reach the Rajya Sabha, after the BJP supported an independent candidate Preeti Mahapatra to turn it into a contest – 12 candidates for 11 seats.
  4. In Karnataka, five nominees, including three from the Congress and one each from the BJP and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) are in the fray. Two Congress candidates and the BJP’s one will go through without effort. The contest is between the Congress’ third and the Janata Dal Secular’s K.C. Ramamurthy, who is short of 12 votes and BM Farooq of the Janata Dal-Secular, short of five.

  5. In Rajasthan, four BJP candidates and one Independent candidate supported by the Congress are fighting for five seats.
  6. In Haryana, the BJP does not have the numbers to get two candidates elected. Union Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh will be elected with ease, but an Independent candidate Subhash Chandra, who the party is supporting, will fight for the state’s second seat with senior lawyer R.K. Anand, an Independent candidate who is banking on the support of the Congress and Indian National Lok Dal.
  7. In Madhya Pradesh, where three seats are up for grabs, the BJP will get two and an Independent it is supporting has challenged the Congress, whose candidate is short of just one vote.
  8. In Jharkhand, the BJP’s Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will be elected to the first seat and the party has again forced a contest by backing an independent against Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s Basant Soren, who is supported by the Congress.
  9. In Uttarakhand, the Congress’ Pradeep Tamta faces a contest from two independents. Mayawati’s decision on who her party will support could decide the contest not only in Uttarakhand, but also UP and Madhya Pradesh.
  10. Members of a state’s legislative assembly vote in the Rajya Sabha elections in what is called the proportional representation with the single transferable vote (STV) system. Each voter ranks his preferences and if the first choice candidate has enough votes already or no chance of being elected, the vote is transferred to the second choice and so on.