A high stakes battle is underway, as voting for four crucial 16 states in the Rajya Sabha in Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Karnataka began on Friday as the number of candidates exceeded the seats allocated for the elections.
Resort politics has seen a massive comeback amid this election, amid intense concerns about poaching and the horse trade in MLAs. News18 takes a look at the poll accounts in these four states ahead of the vote and what could happen:
The converging race is expected to be packed with excitement for one of the four seats of the Rajya Sabha in Rajasthan, as political drama has swept the state for the past 10 days. Both the BJP and the Congress accused each other of power-playing and bartering.
If independent media baron Subhash Chandra had not submitted his candidacy, the election could have gone unchallenged. There are now five candidates on four seats, with Chandra from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) backed, making the task of the third Congress candidate difficult.
Mukul Vasnik, Randeep Singh Surjwala and Pramod Tiwari are the three National Congress leaders. They are all strangers. The BJP fielded Ganshyam Tiwari, a veteran leader who once left the party to run in elections against former Prime Minister Vasudara Raje.
A candidate needs 41 priority votes to win, as per the strength of Rajasthan State Assembly. Contending for three of the four seats, the ruling Congress needs 123 votes to elect its candidates, but has only 108. It requires an additional 15 votes, and the party relies on independents and other parties that support the government. Since one RLD MLA is a government minister, the number needed is 14, according to a report by Free Press Magazine.
CM Ashok Gehlot has spent the past 10 days orchestrating the herd to win all three seats, and the party claims 126 votes for all of its candidates. However, the party is still less than two votes because one of the 13 independents has remained outside the Congress camp, and all eyes are now on this independent party and the four MLAs from the Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) and CPM.
The two BTP agreements with CM Gehlot were seen on Tuesday, but their party chief issued a whip ordering them not to vote and threatened to take strict action in accordance with the party’s constitution and anti-dissent law. Two members of the CPM have yet to clarify their position.
On the other hand, the BJP has 71 votes and has submitted an official candidate for one seat, so it has 30 surplus votes which will go to independent Subhash Chandra, who only needs 11 additional votes to win the fourth seat. Since a regional RLP party, which has three MLAs in the council, has decided to support Chandra, it now only needs eight votes to win.
Looking at the vote counts, the outcome of three seats is almost certain. Two of them will go to the Congress, one to the BJP, and the battle is now for the fourth seat, which is contested by independent Subhash Chandra.
Political parties in Maharashtra were quick to finalize their six-seat Rajya Sabha strategy, which is seen as a platform for allies of the ruling Maha Vikas Agadi (MVA) and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to test their strength.
More than two decades later, Maharashtra will see the Rajya Sabha elections, with seven candidates vying for six seats. The polling station will close at 4 pm. MVA allies – Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress – had moved MLAs to several hotels and resorts in Mumbai ahead of the elections.
The 288-member Legislative Assembly is the Electoral College for the elections but the total votes were reduced to 285 due to the death of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke. On Thursday, a special court also rejected petitions by Minister Nawab Malik and former minister Anil Deshmukh to obtain one-day bail to vote in the elections.
Contending for the six seats are Union Minister Piyush Goyal, Anil Bund, Dhananjay Mahadik (BJP), Praful Patil (NCP), Sanjay Raut, Sanjay Pawar (Shiv Sena) and Imran Pratapgarhi (Congress). The sixth seat is available between Mahadik of BJP and Pawar Sena.
Shiv Sena has 55 MLAs, NCP 53, Congress 44, BJP 106, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) three, Samajwadi Party, AIMIM and Prahar Janshakti Party, MNS, CPI (M), PWP, Swabhimani Party, Rashtriya Samaj Paksh, The Jansaurajya Shakti Party, and the Krantikari Shkti Party have one each, and there are 13 independent legislators.
The number of first-choice votes required to elect a candidate has been reduced to 41. The Congress and the NCP decided to shift their second-choice votes to Shiv Sena candidate Sanjay Pawar.
In the race for the sixth seat, the MVA and the BJP are counting on 25 votes for small parties and independents. The Cabinet includes three ministers from small parties and independents.
The BJP and its allies have 57 MLAs in the 90-member Haryana Assembly, including former minister Krishna Lal Banwar. She also supports Kartikeya Sharma, the independent candidate. A candidate needs 31 seats to win.
The BJP is determined to refuse to give a seat to Congress candidate and AICC Secretary General Ajay Makin.
Congress has 31 MLAs in the 90-member Haryana Assembly, enough to secure Ajay McCain’s victory. The BJP has fielded former Transport Minister Krishan Lal Panwar and supports News X owner Karticeya Sharma. The party is counting on its ally the Janayak Janata Party to elect Sharma. There are also seven independents. Abhay Chautala of INLD and Gopal Kanda of Haryana Lokhit Party have announced their support for Kartikeya Sharma.
Sharma will not be able to win unless he changes a few MLAs in Congress or their votes are declared invalid. It is also unknown how independent MLA Balraj Kundu and Indian national Lok Dal (INLD) MLA Abhay Singh Chautala will vote. Both or one of them may eventually abstain from voting.
In Karnataka, the BJP, Congress, and JD(S) are trying to co-opt MLAs from rival parties in order to ensure that their candidates win the hotly contested fourth Rajya Sabha (Republika Srpska) seat. The three parties are strategizing in the hope of gaining the other’s support on June 10. There are six candidates competing for four open seats. There are three from the BJP, two from the Congress, and one from the JD(S).
Congress and JD(S) tried to get support from each other but failed, so the two party candidates were included in the pool of candidates.
The ruling BJP has 122 legislators (including two independents). Two party candidates will be easily elected. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Representative Politician Jagish will be duly elected. After the first two candidates are elected, the party will get 32 votes, which is 13 votes less than the number needed to elect their third candidate, Lahar Singh Siroya.
Opponents Jaram Ramesh and Mansoor Khan are the first and second congressional candidates, respectively. In the assembly, the party has 70 MLAs (including one independent). He could easily guarantee the victory of one candidate, Ramesh. The party would then receive 25 votes, 20 votes less than the number needed to elect the additional candidate.
The House of Representatives has 32 multilateral statutes in the Assembly, but it cannot guarantee the victory of even one candidate. It’s 13 short sounds. To add to the regional party’s problems, four to five disgruntled MLAs have distanced themselves from the party in recent months, and the party fears cross-voting.
In the given scenario, the fourth candidate is likely to be elected by second-preference vote. BJP and Congress are trying to get the support of JD(S) MLAs in order to get more second preference votes. Meanwhile, the provincial party tried to keep its flock together through one-on-one meetings with its deputies.
Read all the latest news, breaking news and live updates for IPL 2022 here.