Polling to fill 27 vacant Rajya Sabha seats

11 Jun 2016 | Written by Ramya ; Edited by Vaneet Randhawa

Polling to fill 27 vacant Rajya Sabha seats in seven states has begun at 9 am in respective state capitals at Assembly premises; 30 seats of the current round have been filled earlier.

The biennial RS elections would continue till 4 pm, after which the results would be declared.

The polls are being conducted in–Haryana, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Karnataka.

In context: Crucial Rajya Sabha polls

Introduction What is Rajya Sabha?

Rajya Sabha is the Upper House of the Indian Parliament; Indian Constitution limits the number of Rajya Sabha members to 250.

The members are elected for a six-year-term indirectly by state and territorial legislators (once in two years to fill vacancies); each state/territory is allotted a certain number of members.

The President can nominate 12 distinguished personalities to Rajya Sabha on the Centre's advice.

Protecting states against the Centre

In the Indian federal structure, Rajya Sabha is a representative of the States in the Union legislature. Hence, Rajya Sabha is granted powers that protect the rights of States against the Union. BJP has been unable to pass several key legislations due to lower numbers in the Rajya Sabha.
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2016 NominationsPeople nominated by the President in 2016

In Apr'16, President Pranab Mukherjee approved a list of six nominations to the Rajya Sabha made by the Modi-led government.

The nominations included Subramanian Swamy, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Narendra Jadhav, Suresh Gopi, Swapan Dasgupta, and Mary Kom.

In May'16, Pranav Pandya, Director & Head–All World Gayatri Parivar, was nominated; but, he rejected the nomination as it wasn't the only way to serve the nation.

Bihar, TNUnanimously elected candidates

On 3 Jun'16, several candidates were elected to Rajya Sabha unopposed as the nomination withdrawal process came to an end.

Bihar: JD(U) Leader–Sharad Yadav, noted SC lawyer–Ram Jethmalani, Lalu Prasad's daughter–Misa Bharti, JD(U)'s Ramchandra Prasad Singh, and BJP's Gopal Narayan Singh were elected.

Tamil Nadu: AIADMK candidates–R Vaithilingam, A Navaneethakrishnan, A Vijayakumar, and SR Balasubramoniyan; and DMK nominees–RS Bharathi and TKS Elangovan were elected.

Maha, APCandidates chosen from Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh

From Maharashtra: Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal, Congress leader P Chidambaram, National Congress Party's Praful Patel, BJP candidates– Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Vikas Mahatme, former Maha CM Narayan Rane, and Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut were elected unopposed.

From Andhra Pradesh: Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Telugu Desam Party candidates– Y Satyanarayana Chowdary and TG Venkatesh, and YSR Congress Party's Vijaysai Reddy were elected unanimously.

11 Jun 2016Polling to fill 27 vacant Rajya Sabha seats

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Haryana, U'khandTwo seats in Haryana, only one in Uttarakhand

In Haryana, elections are being conducted to fill two Upper House seats.

BJP Minister–Birender Singh is assured of a win; while, Congress-backed Independent–RK Anand is making it highly-difficult for BJP-backed Independent–Subhash Chandra.

Polling for a single seat is being held in Uttarakhand; Congress Candidate–Pradeep Tamta is all set to win as he needs only two votes apart from Congress' 26 and ally, PDF's six.

UP, R'sthan11 vacant seats in UP, four in Rajasthan

In Uttar Pradesh, Kapil Sibal, BJP-backed Independent–Preeti Mahapatra, BSP's Satish Chandra Mishra and Ashok Sidharth, BJP's Shiv Pratap Shukla, seven SP candidates including Amar Singh and Beni Prasad Verma are contesting to fill 11 seats.

In Rajasthan, four seats are up for grab; BJP candidates–Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Om Prakash Mathur, Ramkumar Sharma, Dungarpur royal family's Harsh Vardhan Singh, and Independent Kamal Morarka are participating.

K'taka, MPCandidates from K'taka, MP and Jharkhand

In Karnataka, BJP Minister Nirmala Seetharaman, Congress candidates–Jairam Ramesh, Oscar Fernandes and KC Ramamurthy, JDS' BM Farooq are contesting to fill four seats.

In Madhya Pradesh, BJP candidates–MJ Akbar and Anil Dave, Congress' Vivek Tankha are participating to fill the three RS seats.

Polling for two seats in Jharkhand is being contested by BJP Minister Abbas Naqvi, BJP's Mahesh Poddar, and JMM's Basant Soren.

12 Jun 2016Former Haryana CM demands 're-election', says voting rigged

Former Haryana CM and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda hinted at a "conspiracy" in the counting of votes in the Rajya Sabha elections in Haryana,

Officials had declared 14 votes as invalid because Congress legislators had used wrong ink.

However, Hooda said that the legislators had used the pen that the Returning Officer had provided.

He called for re-election as his legislators were misled.

13 Jun 2016RS math changes, still no majority for BJP

The NDA managed to get a slight edge over the Congress and allies in the Rajya Sabha, however the numbers are still short of an outright majority.

As a result the BJP still has to rely on regional parties for support in passing legislations in the Rajya Sabha.

After polls, the NDA has 74 members while the Congress and allies have only 71.

14 Jun 20166 Congress MLAs expelled for cross-voting in Rajya Sabha

6 MLAs of the Uttar Pradesh Congress were expelled for having cross-voted in Rajya Sabha election.

Senior party leader Janardhan Dwivedi made public the names of the expelled ministers.

These include Sanjay Pratap Jayaswal, Madhuri Verma, Vijay Dube, Mohammed Muslim, Dil Nawaz Khan and Nawab Kasim Ali Khan.

The 6 cross voted against Kapil Sibal (who still defeated BJP's Preeti Mahapatra).