Tight Race In UP Amid Cross-Voting In Rajya Sabha Election: 10 Points

Rajya Sabha 2024 Polls: Rajya Sabha MPs are elected by MLAs through the proportional representation process with the single transferable vote (STV) system.

Rajya Sabha Election: The BJP is said to be banking on surplus votes from Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal.

New Delhi: Congress and Samajwadi Party MLAs have cross-voted in droves during the Rajya Sabha polls, bringing the INDIA bloc under huge pressure ahead of the general election. The beneficiary is the BJP, which stands to gain two extra seats in the Upper House.

Here are 10 points on this big story:

  1. In Himachal Pradesh - where the Congress won 40 of 68 assembly seats in 2022 and thought it had the support of three independent lawmakers -- its candidate, Abhishek Singhvi, is on the verge of a shock defeat. The BJP has only 25 MLAs in the hill state, but has benefitted from cross-voting by six Congress leaders and all three Independents.

  2. The BJP won the contest it forced in Himachal by fielding ex-Congress MLA Harsh Mahajan. A defeat is seen as a huge dent to the prestige of for Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu.Mr Sukhu has accused the BJP of halting the counting and threatening poll officials. He also claimed the Haryana Police and Central force CRPF have "taken away" 5 or 6 MLAs

  3. The big upset happened in Uttar Pradesh, where seven MLAs of Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, and one MLA of SBSP voted for the BJP, giving it eight of the state's 10 seats..

  4. The BJP, which had the numbers to win seven seats, had fielded eight candidates, forcing a contest on one seat, banking on votes from the Jayant Chaudhary's Rashtriya Lok Dal and the SP rebels.

  5. The rebels' message came loud and clear last evening when eight MLAs skipped a meeting called by Mr Yadav. This morning, ahead of elections, the party's chief whip resigned.

  6. Mr Yadav kept a stiff upper lip, saying the decision to field a third candidate was a "test". "Our third seat was actually a test to identify true companions..." he posted on X, formerly Twitter, this morning in a swipe at rebel lawmakers.

  7. In Karnataka -- the other state where voting was forced -- the ruling Congress won three of the four seats, indicating a turning of tables through cross-voting by BJP members. BJP ally HD Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal (Secular) had fielded the fifth candidate, Kupendra Reddy.

  8. The rebellion could not have come at a worse time for the Opposition bloc INDIA, which is struggling to project a united front in face of BJP allegations of irreconcilable differences. The Samajwadi Party and the Congress sealed a seat-sharing deal last week, desperate to get the campaign on track in the weeks left before the summer election.

  9. Of the 56 Rajya Sabha seats, 41 were filled unopposed earlier this month. The list of new MPs includes former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, BJP boss JP Nadda, and union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and L Murugan, as well as ex-Congressman Ashok Chavan, now with the BJP.

  10. Rajya Sabha MPs are elected by MLAs through the proportional representation process with the single transferable vote (STV) system. The MLAs have to list all candidates in order of preference. A candidate with the required number of first-choice votes is elected. If the threshold is not reached, the votes are transferred to the second, the third, so on.

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