New Delhi, Mar 23: Voting for 25 Rajya Sabha seats in underway across six states – Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Telangana. Polling which began at 8 in the morning will conclude by 4 PM. Counting of votes will begin at 5 PM and results are expected to be out by evening. Also Read - Election Commission Announces By-polls for Six Vacant Seats in Rajya Sabha; Complete Schedule Here
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All eyes are on Uttar Pradesh, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is confident of winning 9 of 10 seats. However, the new found bonhomie between the former arch-rivals – Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP) and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) – had made the contest interesting. The BJP would want to consolidate its strength in the Upper House by winning as many seats as it could. In Bihar, six members have been elected unopposed, including Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Also Read - Bahujan Samaj Party Won't Contest Any Bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, Says Mayawati
How Rajya Sabha Members Are Elected:
*In Rajya Sabha elections, candidates are elected by the Members of Legislative Assemblies of states and Union territories. Each MLA of the state where the polling is taking place has a single transferable vote.
*The candidates are nominated by political parties. The number of Rajya Sabha seats in a state depends on the population of the state. The value of the vote of each MLA is 100– and a formula determines the value of votes needed for a win. The formula is: (Number of MLAs X 100) / (Vacancies + 1)] + 1.
*Uttar Pradesh, which has the largest number of Rajya Sabha members, will elect 10 new members. Each candidate will need the support of 37 MLAs in the 403-member assembly.
Since, BJP has 311 MLAs, it is assured of atleast 8 out of the 10 seats. The Samajwadi Party, with 47 MLAs, will get a seat at least.
*In Maharashtra, the BJP can send two MPs, whereas Shiv Sena can get a seat too. The Congress party can also a seat, where the NCP is an MLA short of an assured Rajya Sabha seat.
*In West Bengal, the TMC is expected to get 4 out of 5 vacant Rajya Sabha seats. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is backing Congress nominee Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
*In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP will get 4 out of 5 vacant seats. In Gujarat, both Congress and BJP can get 2 seats each.