Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal, and former state minister Anil Bonde, and Dhananjay Mahadik were among the BJP candidates elected to the Upper House from four states. The Congress managed to send Randeep Surjewala and Jairam Ramesh to the Rajya Sabha, but the grand old party’s Ajay Maken, a former union minister, lost.
In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena’s ubiquitous face Sanjay Raut, Praful Patel from Sharad Pawar’s NCP, and Congress’ Imran Pratapgarhi won the fiercely-fought elections amid stiff challenge from the main opposition BJP, which won three of the six Rajya Sabha seats in the state.
“Elections are contested not just for the fight, but the victory. Jai Maharashtra,” tweeted BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis, the leader of the opposition whose refusal to have consensus candidates for the Rajya Sabha forced elections in the state for the Upper House of Parliament after 24 years.
The Congress suffered a major setback in Haryana as BJP’s Krishan Lal Panwar and the Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma backed by the BJP won the two seats for which elections were held. Congress’s Ajay Maken, who lost on account of having failed to secure any second preference votes, reacted by accusing the BJP of resorting to “cheap politics”. “Is democracy still alive in India?,” he tweeted.
In neighbouring Rajasthan, the Congress won three of the four Rajya Sabha seats, with cross-voting by BJP members. One seat has gone to the BJP.
BJP-backed Independent nominee and media baron Subhash Chandra, whose entry had added spice to the electoral tussle, lost. Following the big win, Ashok Gehlot expressed confidence that the BJP will face “a defeat just like this one” in the Rajasthan assembly elections due in 2023 too.
In emphatic endorsement for the BJP in Karnataka, the ruling party won all the three Rajya Sabha seats it contested, and the Congress won one. There was suspense over the outcome of the fourth seat that has led to a heated contest between the two major opposition parties — Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular). However, BJP’s Siroya triumphed over Mansoor Ali Khan of the Congress and D Kupendra Reddy (JDS), apparently aided by cross-voting from rival parties and the help of Independents.
All the BJP candidates – Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, actor-politician Jaggesh, and outgoing MLC Lehar Singh Siroya – were declared victorious by the poll officials after counting of votes. Former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh of Congress also won.
Ms Sitharaman and Mr Ramesh have been re-elected from Karnataka to the Upper House of Parliament for a consecutive third and fourth term respectively, while for Jaggesh and Siroya this will be their first stint.
With inputs from NDTV