Ahead Of Rajya Sabha Polls, Haryana BJP Sends Its MLAs To Resort

In Karnataka, the talks between the Congress and the JD(S) on defeating the ruling BJP in the contest for the fourth Rajya Sabha seat seem to have reached a deadlock.

Ahead Of Rajya Sabha Polls, Haryana BJP Sends Its MLAs To Resort

Three candidates are in the fray for two Rajya Sabha seats from Haryana.

Chandigarh:

Ahead of Rajya Sabha polls on Friday, the Haryana BJP has shifted its MLAs to a resort near Chandigarh, while the state Congress is likely to fly back its legislators who have been lodged in Chhattisgarh on the day of voting.

Three candidates are in the fray for two Rajya Sabha seats from Haryana. The BJP has fielded Krishan Panwar and extended support to independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma who also has the backing of the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), an ally of the BJP.

Ajay Maken is the Congress nominee for the Rajya Sabha elections from Haryana.

Both BJP and Congress have claimed that they have the numbers to ensure the victory of their candidates.

"All BJP MLAs from Haryana have been asked to reach Chandigarh by Wednesday evening so that a training session on the voting process of Rajya Sabha polls can be held for them," BJP's Haryana unit president O P Dhankar told reporters here.

The Congress shifted its MLAs to a hotel in Raipur fearing the poaching of its legislators. They are expected to return to Chandigarh in a chartered flight Friday morning, sources said.

"We have got sufficient numbers and our candidate will win comfortably," senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda told PTI over the phone.

In Maharashtra, a special court reserved till Thursday its order on the bail pleas of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh and state minister Nawab Malik seeking the one-day relief to cast their votes in the June 10 Rajya Sabha elections.

This is for the first time since 1998 that the Rajya Sabha election in Maharashtra will see a contest and every vote could prove crucial for the parties.

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, who tested COVID-19 positive a couple of days ago, will have to cast his vote towards the end of the voting procedure if he continues to remain infected, an official said.

Deshmukh and Malik, both NCP leaders, who are currently lodged in jail in connection with different money laundering cases, had sought temporary bail from a special court last week to vote in the RS polls. However, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had on Tuesday opposed their bail pleas, citing that they don't have the right to vote under the Representation of the People Act.

Voting for the six Rajya Sabha seats from Maharashtra will take place between 9 am and 4 pm. The ruling Shiv Sena has fielded two candidates, its Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies NCP and Congress have nominated one candidate each, while the opposition BJP has put up three candidates. The contest for the sixth seat lies between BJP's Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena's Sanjay Pawar.

Union minister Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde, Dhananjay Mahadik (BJP), Sanjay Raut, Sanjay Pawar (Shiv Sena), Praful Patel (NCP), Imran Pratapgarhi (Congress) are in the fray.

The contest is for the sixth seat, where 25 MLAs belonging to smaller parties and independents hold the key.

In Karnataka, the talks between the Congress and the JD(S) on defeating the ruling BJP in the contest for the fourth seat seem to have reached a deadlock, with both parties firmly sticking to their stand.

JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy had made an offer to trade second preference votes with the Congress, which pointed out that former prime minister H D Deve Gowda was elected to Rajya Sabha with its support in June 2020 and it was time for the regional party to return the favour.

Six candidates are in the fray for the Rajya Sabha poll to four seats from Karnataka, necessitating a heated contest for the fourth seat.

Despite not having the adequate number of votes to win the fourth seat from the state Assembly, all the three political parties in the state -- BJP, Congress and JD(S) -- have fielded candidates for the seat, forcing an election.

"We had not fielded a candidate when Deve Gowda had contested for RS last time (2020). We also made Kumaraswamy the chief minister. Now, support us if you really want to defeat the BJP," Congress leader Siddaramaiah said.

Countering Siddaramaiah's claims of supporting Deve Gowda, Mr Kumaraswamy said it was the then chief minister BS Yediyurappa who contacted him first and conveyed the BJP high command's decision not to field a candidate against his father, as they wanted the former PM in the Upper House of Parliament.

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the BJP has sufficient votes to win all the three seats it is contesting.

He said, "There is no offer from BJP to anyone and the party can win on its own votes. We have nothing to do with Congress and JD(S)' offer game." Rajasthan too is in the throes of resort politics, with both the Congress and the BJP levelling charges of poaching against each other.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot once again on Wednesday accused the BJP of attempting horse-trading and asked why the party backed media baron Subhash Chandra's candidature when it lacked the numbers to win the seat.

Days after the Congress shifted its MLAs to a Udaipur hotel fearing horse-trading, Mr Gehlot said the party is united and all three Congress candidates will win in the Rajya Sabha elections.

"We have the support of 126 MLAs for three seats," he said referring to the support of legislators of other parties and Independents.

Questioning the BJP's support to Mr Chandra, Mr Gehlot said, "The intention of indulging in horse-trading has been there from the beginning." The Congress had on June 2 shifted its MLAs to the luxury Taj Aravali resort and spa, while the BJP has also sequestered its MLAs at Devi Ratn hotel in Jaipur's Jamdoli but the party is calling it a "training camp".

Videos and pictures emerging from the Congress camp show legislators enjoying cultural evenings, sports activities and magic show among others.

The Aam Aadmi Party claimed that the ruling Congress in Rajasthan wants to send Mr Chandra to Rajya Sabha and the shifting of party MLAs to a Udaipur resort is an "eyewash".

AAP leader Vinay Mishra alleged that the ruling party in the state wants its candidate Pramod Tiwari to lose the elections.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan minister Govind Ram Meghwal, who was staying at the Udaipur resort along with other Congress MLAs, was allegedly threatened on phone by a man who demanded Rs 70 lakh from him.

Inspector General of Police (Bikaner) Omprakash said the caller identified as Sethi Ram alias Sunil Bishnoi was traced to Malaysia. The security outside the minister's residence in Vyas Colony has been tightened.

Mr Meghwal later returned to Jaipur from Udaipur along with Chief Minister Gehlot on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, Haryana Police arrested a man identified as Kanwara Ram from Barmer in Rajasthan for allegedly threatening Congress' Haryana legislator Kuldeep Bishnoi.

Police here said that the accused identified as Kanwara Ram was arrested from Barmer in Rajasthan.

Mr Bishnoi had on Tuesday received a death threat on his mobile phone from an unidentified person, following which an FIR was lodged.

He is the younger son of former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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