Rajya Sabha Polls: BJP, SP, Cong Face 'Betrayal' As Several MLAs Cross-Vote In K'taka, UP & Himachal; Check List

Rajya Sabha Polls: BJP, SP, Cong Face 'Betrayal' As Several MLAs Cross-Vote In K'taka, UP & Himachal; Check List

With the upper house polls being viewed as a semi-final preceding the Lok Sabha showdown, numerous MLAs from various parties are anticipated to either cross-vote or abstain from voting, possibly in hopes of securing Lok Sabha tickets or other benefits.

Tejas JoshiUpdated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 08:28 PM IST
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Elections are taking place for 15 Rajya Sabha seats spanning three states on Tuesday, with apprehensions raised regarding potential cross-voting by Congress and Samajwadi Party MLAs. The outcome of three seats remains uncertain, with one seat each in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka & Himachal Pradesh governed by the Congress.

With the upper house polls being viewed as a semi-final preceding the Lok Sabha showdown, numerous MLAs from various parties are anticipated to either cross-vote or abstain from voting, possibly in hopes of securing Lok Sabha tickets or other benefits.

BJP's Somashekhar votes for Congress, suspense on Hebbar

In an unexpected development, Karnataka's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA ST Somashekar cross-voted during the ongoing Rajya Sabha elections on Tuesday, February 27. ST Somashekar, who won convincingly in Yeshwanthapura with a substantial margin of over 10,000 votes in the previous assembly elections, surprised his party by supporting the Congress with his vote.

Meanwhile, BJP MLA from Yellapur Shivaram Hebbar has remained absent for the voting so far and is speculated to abstain or vote in favour of Congress.

Reports suggested that both the BJP leaders are likely to resign as MLAs to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from the Congress party.

Addressing speculations of cross-voting, Doddanagouda G Patil, the BJP Chief Whip in the Karnataka Assembly, said,  "It is confirmed that ST Somashekar has cross-voted. We are discussing what can be done and what action to be taken."

SP receives several blows with whip resigning minutes before polls

The process of filling the 10 vacant Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh commenced around 9 am on Tuesday, marking a series of setbacks for the Samajwadi Party, including the resignation of its chief whip, Manoj Kumar Pandey.

Additionally, two other MLAs, representing constituencies in Amethi and Raebareli, expressed their intention to follow their "inner voice" and their allegiance to "Lord Ram," suggesting that their vote might favor the BJP beyond its numerical strength, potentially causing a loss for one of the SP's candidates.

Sources revealed that besides these three MLAs, two SP legislators had also held discussions with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at his office within the Assembly premises during the voting process.

SP MLAs who voted in favour of NDA or abstained:

1- Rakesh Pandey (voted for NDA)

2 - Rakesh Pratap Singh (voted for NDA)

3 - Abhay Singh (voted for NDA)

4 - Vinod Chaturvedi (voted for NDA)

5 - Manoj Pandey (voted for NDA)

6 - Maharaji Devi (abstained)

7 - Pooja Pal (voted for NDA)

8 - Ashutosh Maurya (voted for NDA)

Expressing his disappointment, SP cheif Akhilesh Yadav, remained optimistic about the success of the party's three candidates while alleging that the BJP was enticing their members and employing any means necessary to hinder their progress.

Speculations on cross voting in Himachal Pradesh

Reports suggested that the Congress could face a setback in hill state of Himachal Pradesh with around 7-8 MLAs cross voting to the BJP in Rajya Sabha polls. However, there has been no official confirmation regarding the same.

As per rumours, Congress MLAs Rajendra Rana, Sudhir Sharma, Ravi Thakur, Chaitanya Sharma, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal and Devendra Bhutto cross-voted to BJP. Independent MLAs Ashish Sharma, K L Thakur and Hoshiyar Singh are also rumoured to have voted for the BJP.

Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, reacting to the rumours, said, "All our MLAs have voted for the elections. I hope they have all voted on the ideology of the party. We can only say anything once the results are declarred. BJP mein antar-aatma naam ki chiz nahi hai, waha toh paisa antar-aatma chalta hai."

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