CHANDIGARH: Voting began for two Rajya Sabha seats in Haryana here today which are falling vacant in August, with three candidates including Union Minister Birender Singh in fray.
The Haryana Assembly has 90 members and polling will be held between 9 AM to 4 PM today. Yesterday, the Congress had announced support for INLD-backed Independent candidate and lawyer R K Anand for one of the seat in the biennial elections being held today.
While Union Minister and BJP leader Birender Singh is assured of a comfortable win on first seat, the Congress' decision has made the task uphill for media baron and BJP-backed Independent candidate Subhash Chandra, who is also in fray and locked in a keen battle with Anand for the second seat.
INLD has 19 MLAs in the 90 member house while lone member of the Shiromani Akali Dal is also its ally. Lone BSP member in Haryana Assembly has announced his support to the BJP-backed Chandra, who had also claimed the support of the Independent MLAs in Haryana, in his favour.
Chandra had also claimed support of few INLD MLAs and it would be interesting to see if any cross-voting takes place. BJP, with the support of five Independents and one BSP legislator, has the support of 53 MLAs in the 90 member House. It needs 31 votes to wrest the first seat.
BJP has 47 MLAs in the Assembly, INLD 19, Congress 17 (after HJC merged with Congress recently), BSP one, SAD one and five are Independents. The two seats, currently occupied by Union ministers Birender Singh and Suresh Prabhu, will fall vacant on August 1.