Voting for 27 Rajya Sabha seats were held in seven states today. BJP made significant gains in Rajasthan while Congress managed to secure a seat for Kapil Sibal in Uttar Pradesh. In eight other states, 30 candidates have been elected unopposed to the Upper House of Parliament.
In an effort to increase its numbers in the Rajya Sabha, BJP also supported some independent candidates and ensured that the Congress will not win any extra seats. The party has also fielded its own candidates and grabbed enough seats.
Congress' Kapil Sibal secured a Rajya Sabha seat from Uttar Pradesh. During the voting, some BJP lawmakers accused Samajawadi Party legislators of blocking the voting compartment.
Congress had earlier accused the ruling BJP of using "money and muscle power" to influence today's elections, citing arrest warrants issued against two of its lawmakers and the arrest of a JMM legislator last night.
In Karnataka, Union Minister Nirmala Seetharaman, Congress' Jairam Ramesh, Oscar Fernandes and K C Ramamurthy won the four seats while BM Farooq of the Janata Dal-Secular bit the dust.
In Rajasthan, all of the four seats went to the BJP candidates including union minister Venkaiah Naidu and OP Mathur.
In Haryana, the BJP sprung a surprise win with an unexpected win for independent candidate Subhash Chandra, who the party was supporting. Union Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh secured the second seat. But the results could spark controversy after votes of 14 Congress lawmakers were declared invalid.
In Madhya Pradesh, where three seats were up for grabs, BJP candidates MJ Akbar and Anil Dave scored wins while an independent Vivek Tankha with Congress' support won the third. Congress’s Pradeep Tamta on Saturday defeated independent candidate Anil Goel to win the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Uttarakhand and become the first Dalit from the hill state to make it to the Upper House of Parliament.
Some of the legislators seeking re-election to the House included Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Suresh Prabhu, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and Venkaiah Naidu.