Big gains for BJP in Rajya Sabha elections

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For the 58 Rajya Sabha seats to be filled, 33 candidates from 10 states have been unanimously elected.

33 candidates from 10 states were already elected unopposed on March 15 but candidates for 25 Rajya Sabha seats from the states of Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Telangana were still fighting to meet the cut till yesterday.

There was a two-hour delay in the counting of votes in UP as the opposition Samajwadi Party and BSP lodged a complaint with the Election Commission.

The BJP has avenged its recent twin Lok Sabha bypoll loss to the SP-BSP combine in UP by defeating the SP-backed BSP candidate in a Rajya Sabha poll in the state.

The whole episode happened on Friday amid high drama in Uttar Pradesh where the saffron party won an extra ninth seat overcoming the newfound bonhomie between former arch rivals SP and BSP.

In Chhatisgarh, 49-year-old Saroj Pandey secured a Rajya Sabha berth after she polled 51 votes while Congress candidate Lekhram Sahu managed only 36 votes.

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"We are standing with the BJP. We held a meeting of our MLAs and it was decided that we will strongly support the BJP", national president of Apna Dal (S) Ashish Patel had told PTI.

In all there are 11 candidates in the fray for the 10 seats.

In the 140-member Assembly, the LDF has 90 legislators and the Opposition UDF 41.

The ruling BJP won one seat and the second, went to Congress' Dheeraj Sahu.

While the BSP candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar got 33 votes - short by four - in the first preference votes against 22 of the BJP, the ruling party nominee was declared victor on the basis of second preference votes.

The defeat will force Mayawati to rethink the alliance as the SP-Congress-RLD failed to ensure the victory of party's candidate, analysts feel. Counting was on for the tenth seat, for which the BSP's Bhimrao Ambedkar was precariously placed.

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Other BJP candidates, who won the elections, include Anil Jain, GVL Narsimha Rao, Sakaldeep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Tomar and Harnath Singh Yadav.

SP nominee Jaya Bachchan, however, emerged victorious with 38 first preference votes.

After declaration of the results late night Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that he was thankful to all those who supported BJP candidates. Extending gratitude to Mayawati and addressing her reservations over his ties with Kunda MLA Raja Bhaiyya, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday deleted tweet thanking him for his promised support in RS polls.

Though the BJP has a huge majority in the Lok Sabha, many crucial bills have been stalled in the House because of the lack of numbers in Rajya Sabha.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the winners in the Rajya Sabha polls. The Congress' Abhishek Manu Singhvi won the fifth seat in West Bengal with Trinamool's help. The state's ruling TMC has made a decision to back the eminent lawyer. The tenth seat was bagged by Jaya Bachchan of Samajwadi Party. TRS was the biggest victor among the regional parties, winning all the three seats from Telangana.

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