New Delhi: Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress bagged four of the five Rajya Sabha seats that were up for grab from West Bengal in an election marred by allegations of horsetrading, and even abduction. The fifth seat was won by the CPM.
The victorious Trinamool candidates are veteran Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty, artist Jogen Chowdhury, industrialist KD Singh and journalist Ahmed Hasan Imran. The lone CPM winner is Ritabrata Banerjee, who heads its students' wing, the Students' Federation of India, or the SFI.
Ms Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, which has a strength of 184 in a House of 294, could have won three seats on the basis of its tally. But it sprang a surprise by fielding a fourth candidate, who could have won only after poaching on the turfs of rival political players.
Mr Imran, Trinamool's fourth nominee, eventually won, after enlisting the support of two Congress and three Left lawmakers. The two parties have cried foul, blaming the Trinamool Congress of taking recourse to unethical means to ensure the victory of its candidates.
In Assam, the Congress won two seats, while the third seat was snapped by its ally, Bodoland People's Front. The Congress winners are Sultanpur MP Sanjay Singh and Bhubaneswar Kalita, the party's state unit chief. Biswajit Daimary was the BPF nominee.
The Sultanpur MP joins the other Singh, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in representing the state in the House of Elders. The Raja of Amethi's nomination was seen as a pre-emptive strike by the Congress to stop him from defecting to the BJP. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi represents Amethi in the Lok Sabha. His re-election is being challenged by a resurgent BJP, which is yet to announce the name of its candidate, and the Aam Aadmi Party's Kumar Vishwas.
In Andhra Pradesh, Subbarami Reddy, Ramachandra Rao and MA Khan of the Congress, T Sitarama Lakshmi and G Mohan Rao of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Keshava Rao of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) were elected to the Rajya Sabha.