DEHRADUN: Polling for the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Uttarakhand was held amid tight security at the state Assembly here today with Chief Minister Harish Rawat and Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal among the first to cast their votes.
Polling which began at 9 AM concluded at about 12:20 PM, much before its scheduled conclusion at 4 PM. However, counting of ballots will begin after 4 PM, Secretary Vidhan Sabha Jagdish Chandra said.
Security around the Assembly premises was tightened with heavy deployment of security personnel around the building. Congress's Pradeep Tamta and BJP backed Independent Anil Goel are taking on each other to grab the seat which falls vacant with BJP member Tarun Vijay's tenure getting over next month.
Numerically, 26-member Congress with the support of six-member PDF appears to have an edge on rival BJP which is left with 27 MLAs after the disqualification of Ghansali legislator Bhimlal Arya under the anti-defection law on Thursday for going against the party whip and crossvoting during the floor test on May 10.
The BJP got another setback yesterday with its Bhimtal MLA Dan Singh Bhandari tendering his resignation from the membership of the Assembly to Speaker Kunjwal late last night.
In his resignation to the Speaker, Bhandari had urged him to accept his resignation with immediate effect. Bhandari's resignation mentions no reason for doing so. In the House with an effective strength of 59 any side will need 30 votes to emerge the winner.