New Delhi: If the build-up to Rajya Sabha elections were dominated by fears of cross-voting, the election results also sprang up a surprise.
In Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena-led Mahavikas Agadhi (MVA) suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate while in an embarrassing turn of events in Haryana, Congress went into celebratory mode defeating BJP-backed Independent candiate in Haryana but soon a ‘recount’ turned the tables in BJP favour.
Maharashtra’s ruling alliance won 3 out of 6 Rajya Sabha seats while BJP also won 3. The results were declared after almost eight hours of delay in the counting, as both sides alleged cross-voting and breach of rules.
Those who won the RS seat from BJP included Union Minister Piyush Goyal and former state minister Anil Bonde & Dhananjay Mahadik while those won on MVA ticket included Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, NCP’s Praful Patel and Congress’ Imran Pratapgarhi.
While the counting was underway, drama unfolded after BJP & Shiv Sena levelled charges of cross-voting in the elections and also approached the EC for action. As per rules, those found cross-voting in RS elections are rendered invalid by the poll body.
Sena dismayed over RS results
Soon after declaration of results, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut went on to make explosive claims about the poll panel and claimed that it was ‘favouring the BJP’.
Venting party’s displeasure over the RS results, Raut alleged that BJP was pressurizing EC to declare Sena MLA Suhas Kande’s vote as invalid.
Shiv Sena-led MVA govt was hoping to claim victory on 1 more seat, given the strength in Maharashtra Assembly.
Earlier, the leaders of MVA also blamed the poll panel for the loss of its 4th candidate in RS election.
Raut alleged irregularity in elections and said that BJP’s win was not malafide as it won on the basis of second preference vote.
In the Rajya Sabha elections, with 16 seats up for grabs, BJP won 8 seats while Congress won 5 seats.