Rajya Sabha Polls: 10 key facts about the high-octane battle

Amidst heightened tensions and speculation of cross-voting, the polling began around 9 am on Tuesday.
Last Updated 27 February 2024, 06:47 IST

The high octane Rajya Sabha elections are under way with significant political maneuvers and strategic candidacies occurring in order to ensure victory and gain a seat in the Upper House.

Amidst heightened tensions and speculation of cross-voting, the polling began around 9 am on Tuesday. Counting will commence from 5 pm while results are likely to be announced on Tuesday night.

Here's a look at 10 keys facts to help you understand the current leg of Rajya Sabha elections:

Fact 1 - The Rajya Sabha elections occur in a staggered manner, with one-third of the members retiring every two years. There are 15 seats up for grabs in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh has 10 vacant Rajya Sabha seats, Karnataka has four and Himachal Pradesh has just lone RS seat.

Fact 2 - Out of the 56 Rajya Sabha seats going for polls today, 41 members were elected unopposed in the Upper House although the results will be formally announced later in the night. Former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, BJP chief JP Nadda, Ashok Chavan, Union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and L Murugan are among those who were elected unopposed.

Fact 3 - A candidate will need at least 81 votes in Uttar Pradesh, 113 votes in Karnataka and 35 votes in Himachal Pradesh to win the elections and gain a Rajya Sabha seat. Altogether there are three seats, set for a cliffhanger that may involve cross-voting.

Fact 4 - In UP, BJP have the numbers to send seven members to the Upper House while SP can send upto three members. However, BJP has fielded Sanjay Seth as its eighth candidate, setting the stage for poll thriller for the tenth seat.

Fact 5 -  Union Minister R P N Singh, former MP Chaudhary Tejveer Singh, state party general secretary Amarpal Maurya, former state minister Sangeeta Balwant, party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, former MLA Sadhna Singh and former Agra mayor Naveen Jain have been nominated as BJP candidates in UP. 

The SP candidates in UP include Ramjilal Suman, Jaya Bachchan and former IAS officer Alok Ranjan.

Fact 6 - In Karnataka, the four Rajya Sabha seats in Karnataka are being contested by five candidates, with three from the Congress party, one from the BJP, and another from JD(S),

In the fray currently are five candidates to fill four seats — Ajay Maken, Syed Naseer Hussain and G C Chandrasekhar (all Congress), Narayansa Bandage (BJP) and Kupendra Reddy fielded by the JD(S).

Fact 7 - In Himachal Pradesh which is voting for the lone Rajya Sabha seat,  senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi is locked in tense contest with BJP's Harsh Mahajan.

Fact 8 - All parties have issued whips to their respective MLAs. In UP, as many as 8 MLAs skipped SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s party meeting, though there is denial of any crossvoting. SP's UP Assembly chief whip has also resigned.

Fact 9 - In Karnataka, the ruling Congress shifted its MLAs to a private hotel on Monday to prevent undue influences -- a situation that has seen multiple re-runs in the chequered politics of the state.

In Himachal, the BJP on Monday accused the Congress of issuing whip to its members to pressure them, saying that the MLAs have been elected democratically and have the right to vote as per their wish.

Fact 10 - Currently, the Rajya Sabha has a strength of 245. The term for Upper House MPs is six years, and elections are held every two years for 33 per cent of the seats.

(Published 27 February 2024, 06:47 IST)

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