Congress MLA and deputy chief whip of Rajasthan Assembly Mahendra Choudhary has demanded that the Election Commission (EC) take action against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as Subhash Chandra, the BJP-backed independent Rajya Sabha candidate, for allegedly adopting horse-trading and corrupt practices, ahead of the June 10 Rajya Sabha polls.
In his letter to Chief Electoral Officer on Tuesday, Mr Choudhary pointed out that the total number of MLAs in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly was 200 and that the ruling party in the state the Congress has the support of 126 MLAs including 108 MLAs of Congress, 13 of Independent, two of Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), two of Communist Party of India (Marxist) and one of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
Mr Choudhary said BJP has 71 MLAs in the state and Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) led by Hanuman Beniwal has three MLAs.
"Earlier there was an alliance of BJP and RLP but now that alliance is broken," he said.
He said that the Congress has 126 votes against 123 required to win three seats, while Mr Chandra has 33 votes and he is short of eight MLAs to win.
Explaining the statistics, Mr Choudhary said, "Considering the total number of MLAs supporting Congress, it is clear that the party can elect three Rajya Sabha MPs directly. The weightage of an MLA's vote has been estimated at 100 in this Rajya Sabha election. It means a Rajya Sabha member will be elected on 4,001 weightage votes. This means that every elected Rajya Sabha member needs 40.1 (40.1X100 = 4001) votes of the MLAs. According to this, 41 MLAs can choose one Rajya Sabha member. Congress requires 123 votes to elect three MPs, while the Congress has the support of 126 MLAs."
Congress nominated Randeep Surjewala, Mukul Wasnik and Pramod Tiwari for the Upper House of the parliament from Rajasthan. BJP has fielded Ghanshyam Tiwari for Rajya Sabha polls from Rajasthan.
"Subhash Chandra is a BJP supported Independent Rajya Sabha candidate. It is clear that all the 10 proposers who approved the nomination papers of Subhash Chandra are BJP MLAs from Rajasthan. Not a single independent MLA approved the nomination paper of Subhash Chandra," said the Congress MLA.
To choose a Rajya Sabha candidate, BJP has 41 MLAs and 30 additional votes. If RLP MLAs are also included, then BJP + RLP has only 33 additional votes, he said.
"Since a Rajya Sabha member cannot be elected with fewer than 41 MLA votes, Subhash Chandra is hatching a malicious conspiracy to win an RS seat forcibly by horse-trading, money-power and intimidation of central government agencies like Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation and Income Tax," Mr Choudhary alleged.
The Congress leader demanded a criminal case and thorough investigation of horse-trading in order to conduct free, fair and corruption-free Rajya Sabha elections.
"On one side, BJP and Subhash Chandra are claiming to have cross-voting of MLAs, and on the other, BJP is threatening ED and Income Tax. It is a legal offence. Taking cognizance of this, the Election Commission and the police should take necessary constitutional and legal action against the Rajasthan BJP president, Rajasthan BJP Legislature Party leader, BJP supported independent candidate Subhash Chandra and criminally prosecute them," the Congress MLA said.
Elections to four Rajya Sabha seats in Rajasthan will be held on June 10.
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