New Delhi, Mar 23: Elections for 25 Rajya Sabha seats in six states will be held today. The most interesting contest will be in Uttar Pradesh where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have locked horns for the ninth Rajya Sabha seat. According to the Election Commission, voting will be held from 9 am to 4 pm. The results will be declared today itself. Of the 58 seats that fell vacant, on 33 candidates from 10 states were declared elected unopposed on March 15. Also Read - Panic Grips Locals After Dead Bodies Found Buried in Sand Along Ganga River in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao
In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is set to win eight out of 10 Rajya Sabha seats by its dominant numbers in the state Assembly and it has fielded a ninth candidate too. A candidate needs the votes of 37 MLAs to go to the Upper House from the state. The Samajwadi Party (SP) has 47 MLAs, so it is assured of one seat, and it will have 10 MLAs to spare who will support BSP candidate Bhim Rao Ambedkar. Nitin Agrawal, whose father Naresh Agrawal recently joined the BJP, however, will vote for the saffron party. Also Read - UP Witnesses Continuous Decline In New COVID Cases, State Reports 18,125 Fresh Patients in Last 24 Hours
The BSP has 19 MLAs and with SP’s support, it will get 28 votes. A legislator of Ajit Singh’s party has assured to support Ambedkar. Mayawati has also been promised by the Congress that its seven MLAs would vote for the BSP candidate, taking the tally to 36. Independent MLA from Kundla, Raghuraj Pratap Singh, popularly known as Raja Bhaiyya, who attended Akhilesh Yadav’s dinner on Wednesday, is most likely to support the BSP. This would ensure Ambedkar’s victory. Also Read - BJP's Troubleshooter, NE's Most Influential Politician Himanta Biswa Sarma to Take Oath as Assam CM Today
However, the Allahabad High Court has barred BSP MLA Mukhtar Ansari SP legislator Hari Om Yadav from voting and this development is sure to ruin the game of the newly formed SP-BSP coalition. The BJP, which has 311 MLAs in the 403-member Assembly, has fielded a candidate against BSP’s Ambedkar, for whom it has at least 28 votes. Prominent candidates in the fray are Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Jaya Bachchan, Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, Harnath Singh Yadav, GVL Narasimha Rao and Anil Kumar Agarwal.
Altogether six candidates, including Congress nominee Abhishek Manu Singhvi, are in the fray for the five Rajya Sabha seats from West Bengal. The state’s ruling TMC has decided to back the eminent lawyer. Five candidates are in the electoral arena in Karnataka for four seats. The state’s ruling Congress has fielded three nominees, while there are one each of the BJP and JD(S). Elections will also be held for two seats in Jharkhand where three candidates are in the fray, including two of the state’s ruling BJP and one of the Congress.
One candidate each of the ruling BJP and main opposition Congress will cross swords for the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Chhattisgarh. Four candidates will try their luck from Telangana where polling will be held for three seats. The BJP, which currently has 58 members in the upper house, is set to gain from this round of biennial polls. The BJP-led NDA is, however, likely to achieve a majority only in 2019. (With PTI inputs)