THE ruling YSR Congress bagged all the four Rajya Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh and seasoned campaigners like Digvijaya Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Shibu Soren had an easy sailing as the results of the polls to the Upper House were on expected lines barring Gujarat and Manipur which are set for a cliffhanger. Voting was held for 19 seats spread across eight States amid all precautionary measures in view of the COVID-19 pandemic which led to two legislators in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan who were in quarantine turning up in PPE gear. In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP won two seats and the Congress bagged one seat while in Rajasthan, it was the other way around with the Congress emerging victorius in two.
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) won one seat in Jharkhand so did the BJP while the candidates of the ruling alliances won in Meghalaya and Mizoram. Social distancing was followed and entry of the legislators were allowed after thermal screening and wearing of masks. As a precautionary measure, the Election Commission gave individual pen to the legislators for marking their votes. In Manipur, which is in a political crisis following the resignation of nine members of the ruling coalition, BJP candidate Leisemba Sanajaoba won the election . He was pitted against veteran T Mangi Babu of the Congress in the only Rajya Sabha seat. Counting of votes for four seats in Gujarat was delayed as the Congress demanded that the Election Commission invalidate two BJP votes on different grounds. In Madhya Pradesh, veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh and BJP candidates Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sumer Singh Solanki won. The Congress’s other candidate, Dalit leader Phool Singh Barriya, lost the election.
While Singh is returning to the Rajya Sabha for second consecutive term, Scindia is entering the Upper House of Parliament for the first time. Digvijaya Singh bagged 57 votes, Scindia 56 and Solanki 55, a poll official said. A Congress MLA who has contracted coronavirus arrived in an ambulance, wearing PPE gear. JMM supremo Shibu Soren and BJP State unit President Deepak Prakash won the two seats in Jharkhand. Congress candidate Shahzada Anwar finished third by bagging 18 votes. In Andhra Pradesh, Deputy Chief Minister Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose, minister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana, industrialist Parimal Nathwani and realtor Ayodhya Rami Reddy of the YSRC were elected with 38 votes each.
The Opposition Telugu Desam Party lost badly, with its nominee Varla Ramaiah polling only 17 votes against its technical strength of 23. The ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance candidate Wanwei Roy Kharlukhi Friday won the lone seat in Meghalaya defeating Congress candidate Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem by a margin of 20 votes. MDA partner KHNAM’s MLA Adelbert Nongrum abstained from voting to express his dissent against the NPP whose Lok Sabha MP Agatha K Sangma had voted in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Parliament whereas the party in the state opposed it. The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) won the lone Rajya Sabha seat in Mizoram. K Vanlalvena secured 27 votes out of the 39 polled.