An action-packed close contest is expected on one out of four Rajaya Sabha seats of Rajasthan as the state is witnessing all kinds of political drama for the last 10 days. There is luxurious Badabandi of MLAs of both Congress and BJP. Both the parties are accusing each other of horse-trading and misuse of power.
Four Rajya Sabha members of Rajasthan will complete their term in July this year, so the election process is going on in the state and voting will take place on Friday.
It could have been an unopposed election if independent Subhash Chandra had not filed his nomination. Now there are five candidates for four seats, Chandra is backed by the opposition BJP and making it a tough fight for the third Congress candidate.
The Congress has fielded its three national leaders Mukul Vasnik, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Pramod Tiwari. All are outsiders. While BJP has fielded Ghanshyam Tiwari, a veteran leader, who had once left the party opposing former CM Vasudhara Raje.
As per the strength of the Rajasthan assembly, a candidate needs 41 first priority votes to win. The ruling Congress is contesting on three out of four seats and it needs 123 votes to get its candidates elected while it has only 108. It needs 15 extra votes and the party is relying upon the independents and other parties who are supporting the government. One MLA of RLD is a minister in the government, so the required number is 14.
CM Ashok Gehlot is busy for the last ten days arranging the flock to win all three seats and the party is claiming to have 126 votes for all their candidates. However, the fact is that the party is still short of 2 votes as one out of 13 independents are still away from the Congress camp and all eyes are now on this one independent and four MLAs of Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) and CPM.
The 2 BTP MLAs were seen with CM Gehlot on Tuesday but their party president has issued a whip to abstain from voting and warned them of strict action as per the party’s constitution and anti-defection law. While two members of CPM have not cleared their stand.
On the other hand, BJP has 71 votes and it has fielded its official candidate for one seat so it has 30 surplus votes that will go to the independent Subhash Chandra, so he needs only 11 extra votes to win the fourth seat. One regional party RLP with 3 MLAs in the house has decided to go with Chandra, so now he needs only 8 votes to win.
So looking at the mathematics of the votes, the result is almost clear for three seats. Two of them will go to Congress and one to BJP and now the battle is for the fourth seat where independent Subhash Chandra is contesting the election.
Chandra had recently claimed that he will get the required number as 8 Congress MLAs may vote for him. "I guess that 8 Congress MLAs will cross vote. They will cross vote not because they have affection towards me but due to the behaviour of the government and the kind of humiliation they are facing," said Chandra to the media two days ago.
It is worth mentioning here that Chandra has contested the last Rajya Sabha election from Haryana and despite having not enough numbers, he won the election as the votes of 14 Congress MLAs got rejected because of the use of the wrong pen for vote casting.