Counting of votes for the 2018 Rajya Sabha elections began today evening after polling successfully ended for the day amid allegations of foul play in various states.
The polls to Rajya Sabha, which will have 58 vacancies in April, began today. Voting to fill 25 of 58 Rajya Sabha seats which fell vacant took place in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, and Telangana.
A bypoll was also held for one seat in Kerala where MP Veerendra Kumar, the Left-backed candidate of Sharad Yadav faction of the JD(U), is pitted against Babu Prasad of the Congress. Kumar had resigned from the Rajya Sabha to protest against Bihar CM Nitish Kumar's decision to return to the NDA.
33 candidates from 10 states were elected unopposed on March 15, 2018.
HERE ARE HIGHLIGHTS:
The ruling BJP clinches the most crucial 10th Rajya Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh by drubbing BSP candidate besides ensuring smooth sailing of its eight other candidates including Arun Jaitley and GVL Narasimha Rao. Samajwadi Party's Jaya Bachchan secures fourth term. (Read here)
Congress has won 3 Rajya Sabha seats and BJP has won 1 seat in Karnataka.
Jharkhand’s ruling BJP, Opposition Congress win one Rajya Sabha seat each amid horse trading row.
Election Commission has rejected the complaint against Jharkhand Vikas Morcha MLA Prakash Ram after reviewing the video. (ANI)
Earlier, ECI had received a complaint from Jharkhand Vikas Morcha alleging Prakash Ram did not show his ballot paper to the party's authorised representative after casting vote.
Telangana's ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) bags all three Rajya Sabha seats of the state for which polling was held .
The Trinamool Congress bagged four seats and the Congress one in the Rajya Sabha polls from West Bengal.
Counting of votes for Rajya Sabha elections in Karnataka begins after being delayed due to allegations of discrepancies.
JD(U) Kerala president Veerendra Kumar has been elected to Rajya Sabha.
Counting of votes for Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh begins after clearance from the Election Commission.
Telugu Desam Party leader CM Ramesh, has been unanimously elected to Rajya Sabha consecutively.
I am at the seventh heaven of delight. This is the brain child of CM Mamata didi. I am very hopeful that I will live up to her expectations: Abir Ranjan Biswas, TMC after winning the Rajya Sabha seat. #RajyaSabhaElections #WestBengal pic.twitter.com/ZEhbYQyFQr— ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2018
Counting of votes has not started in Karnataka as yet because Janata Dal had complained to EC about some discrepancy. Janata Dal has boycotted the voting now, so that will also enhance our chances of victory, says G Parameshwara, Congress.
SP and BSP demand Election Commission to declare votes of BJP's Nitin Agrawal and BSP's Anil Singh invalid alleging that they did not show their ballot paper to the polling agent.
The ECI has received a complaint from Jharkhand Vikas Morcha for cancellation of vote of Prakash Ram, who cross-voted. Further action will be taken by the Commission only after receiving Returning Officer's report. Prakash Ram has meanwhile been suspended by his party.
BJP will win in other states as well under the leadership of PM Modi and party president Amit Shah: Saroj Pandey, BJP pic.twitter.com/7ZlD2m8cJn— ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2018
BJP's Saroj Pandey wins Rajya Sabha Election from Chhattisgarh by beating Congress' Lekhram Sahu.
Election Commission has not given permission to begin the counting of votes for the Rajya Sabha election in Uttar Pradesh due to some objections in ballot papers. Counting to begin only after EC gives clearance.
Counting of votes underway for the 2018 Rajya Sabha elections.
Alleging foul play in Karnataka Rajya Sabha polls, the Janata Dal-Secular said two Congress legislators were allowed to vote for a second time after they initially cross-voted.
Chhattigarh BJP candidate Saroj Pandey's voting agent alleged that Congress MLA Anila Bhediya violated the rules by disclosing her vote cast in a secret ballot.
All India Congress Committee gives memorandum to EC requesting it to issue directions to the concerned Returning Officer to cancel vote cast by Jharkhand Vikas Morcha MLA Prakash Ram alleging he intentionally didn't show ballot paper and concealed marked column.
All the 9 candidates of BJP will win. SP insulted their worker and people will answer them for choosing a candidate that entertains the society rather than one who serves the society, Naresh Agrawal's son Nitin Agrawal to ANI.
The election in Kerala is being held after the seat fell vacant when Veerendra Kumar resigned from the Upper House of Parliament as a mark of protest following JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar joining hands with BJP-led NDA.
I have voted for BJP, I don't know about the rest: Anil Singh, BSP MLA to ANI. [FULL REPORT]
Voting for two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand, for which two candidates of BJP and one of Congress are in the fray, is being held today in the Assembly premises.
Voting underway at Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly in Raipur for one Rajya Sabha seat from the state.
In Telangana, three TRS and one Congress candidate are in fray. BJP, TDP and CPM to not vote.
BJP will win all the nine Rajya Sabha seats where we have fielded our candidates. Nine more BJP candidates will make entry to Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh this time: Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to ANI.
Speaking to ANI, Ram Gopal Yadav of Samajwadi Party said, "There will be no cross-voting, but yes BJP MLAs will cross-vote in our favour."
The Trinamool has lent its backing to Congress's sole candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi. [FULL REPORT]
CM Yogi Adityanath meets party MLAs at the UP assembly.
Senior BJP leaders Prakash Javdekar, BS Yeddyurappa & party's Rajya Sabha candidate Rajeev Chandrashekar met at their party office in Vidhan Soudha, Bengaluru earlier today.
Voting has begun
SP candidate Jaya Bachchan Ji and BSP candidate, (Bhim Rao Ambedkar) whom we are supporting, will win the Rajya Sabha elections. Considering BJP's condition I'd say that its own MLAs are annoyed & some of them may even end up siding with the opposition: Rajendra Chaudhary, SP to ANI.
The BJP has filed 18 candidates for the biennial polls. They include Anil Baluni, the national head of the BJP's media wing, from Uttarakhand and Saroj Pandey, BJP general secretary, from Chhattisgarh. The BJP has also fielded Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot from Madhya Pradesh for another Rajya Sabha term.
The BJP is expected to gain about a dozen seats in the Upper House and consolidate its position as the largest party. However, it is still far from a majority in the 245-member house.
The Rajya Sabha vacancies next month include 17 from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and 12 from the Congress Party.
8: 25 am
Seven union ministers including Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar, J P Nadda, Dharmendra Pradhan, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Purshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandavia, were among the unanimously elected candidates on March 15.
The 58 seats which will fall vacant are from the following 16 states
Andhra Pradesh- 3
Himachal Pradesh- 1
Madhya Pradesh- 5
Uttar Pradesh- 10
West Bengal- 5
Voting is held between 9 am and 4 pm. Counting of ballots will be taken up at 5 pm, an hour after the end of votes.
(With inputs from Express News Service and Agencies)