JAIPUR: Despite horse-trading charges over the past fortnight, the ruling Congress won 2 seats in the Rajya Sabha polls in Rajasthan while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to get just one seat.
Both the Congress nominees, KC Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi won impressively while the BJP could ensure a win only for Rajendra Gehlot and while its second candidate Onkar Singh Lakhawat got just 20 votes. Venugopal with 64 votes got the maximum support and his junior colleague Neeraj Dangi secured 59 votes. Rajendra Gehlot got 54 votes.
In the house of 200 members, the Congress has 107 MLAs and was supported by Independents and legislators from the Rashtriya Lok Dal, CPM and Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP). The Congress candidates won a total of 123 votes as expected. The two BJP candidates had the backing of 72 MLAs and the support of 3 Rashtriya Loktantrik Party members but as one vote was disqualified the BJP candidates together secured 74 votes.
Earlier, MLAs of both parties reached the Rajasthan Assembly in buses from the luxury hotels where they were staying in order to prevent poaching from the other side. Congress MLAs, Independents and legislators of other supporting parties reached the assembly in six buses. The Congress had confined its MLAs at a resort alleging that the BJP was trying to lure them away. Over the past few days, the BJP too had shifted its MLAs to a luxury hotel ostensibly for a ‘Training Camp’ to make the MLAs familiar with voting processes for the Rajya Sabha.
All social distancing norms and other anti-COVID precautions were observed at the Rajasthan Assembly during the vote.
The results mark a special victory for Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who had strongly raised horse-trading charges against the BJP. At a press conference in Jaipur last week, Gehlot had claimed that Rajya Sabha polls were purposely postponed for two months to enable the BJP to buy time and complete ‘its horse-trading’ in the state.
Delighted at securing two seats, Gehlot was quick to tweet after the Congress victory and remarked , “ Congratulations to Congress national general secretary KC Venugopal ji and Neeraj Dangi ji for winning #RajyaSabhaElections from #Rajasthan. It is a victory of the ideology, policies and programmes of Congress Party under the leadership of CP Smt. #SoniaGandhi hi.
Congratulations to Congress national general secretary KC Venugopal ji and Neeraj Dangi ji for winning #RajyaSabhaElections from #Rajasthan. It is a victory of the ideology, policies and programmes of Congress Party under the leadership of CP Smt. #SoniaGandhi ji.— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) June 19, 2020
My compliments to all MLAs from other parties & independents, who voted for our candidates & who remained firm in supporting us despite several attempts by the BJP to lure them. We are happy that together we ensured those forces, which plotted to disrupt the democratic process on basis of money power gets defeated.”