Rajya Sabha polls: BJP looks set to win nine UP seats

Ahead of Rajya Sabha polls UP parties cajole miffed allies host lavish dinners

Rajya Sabha polls: BJP looks set to win nine UP seats

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday became the single-largest party in the Rajya Sabha, winning 18 of the 58 seats contested. According to a deal struck earlier, SP and Congress had made a decision to vote in favour of BSP candidate and if it wasn't for BJP's ninth candidate, Ambedkar would have easily sailed into the upper house.

Meanwhile, BJP state president Mahendra Nath Pandey also expressed his happiness over the win and said, "This is the victory of democracy and it is for the welfare of Uttar Pradesh".

The BJP candidates were Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, party's national general secretary Anil Jain, spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, Vijay Pal Tomar, Kanta Kardam, Ashok Bajpai, Harnath Yadav, Sakaldeep Rajbhar and Agarwal.

The House now has 49 BJP MLAs, 39 Congress legislators, one BSP member and an independent legislator.

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Counting of votes began after a two-hour delay as the opposition SP and BSP lodged a complaint with the Election Commission.

Smarting under humiliating defeats in the Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha bypolls, the BJP effected a major upset in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections from Uttar Pradesh.

"'There will not be an iota of difference in the close understanding between the BSP and SP because of the Rajya Sabha results yesterday", Mayawati said at a press conference. The Yogi campaigned exhaustively for his candidate; he blamed the loss on "overconfidence" and an underestimation of the alliance between Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav, whose parties last worked together almost two decades ago and have been enraged with each other ever since.

All four Trinamool candidates - sitting Rajya Sabha member Nadimul Haque, and first time nominees Subhasish Chakraborty, Abir Biswas and Santanu Sen - are now rajya sabha members.

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The ruling parties in Telangana and West Bengal also did well, said media reports.

CPI-M candidate Rabin Deb, backed by the Left Front, lost. Akhilesh did succeed in delivering all the "surplus" SP votes, including that of his estranged uncle Shivpal Yadav, to BSP.

With two MLAs expelled, the remaining 11 Congress MLAs took part in the voting with the party leadership issuing a whip asking all Congress MLAs including six who shifted to TRS to vote for its candidate P Balram Naik. Both the BSP and SP faced cross-voting by two of its MLAs.

The Rajya Sabha vacancies next month include 17 from BJP and 12 from Congress. Bhediya, however, denied the allegation and accused the BJP polling agent of peeping in when she was casting her vote. Balaram obtained 10 votes, official sources said tonight. TRS was the biggest victor among the regional parties, winning all the three seats from Telangana.

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