Azamgarh: A senior Congress leader was allegedly shot dead by unidentified persons in Sidhari area…
NEW DELHI:Voting for 27 Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Haryana began on Saturday.
While 30 of the total 57 seats in the current round of biennial elections had been decided without a contest, Saturday’s polls will decide the fate of the remaining 27 as the BJP and the Congress are engaged in a keen battle in some States.
Polling began at the Assembly premises in the State capitals at 9 a.m. and will continue till 4 p.m. Counting will begin at 5 p.m. and the results will be known by around 7 p.m.
Set to lose five to seven of its 64 seats, the Congress is pulling out all the stops to maximise its victories, especially in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana, in some cases, even at the expense of annoying a State unit. Read more.
4.25 p.m.: In Haryana, INLD MLA and senior leader Abhay Singh Chautala accuses Chief Minister Khattar of trying to lure five MLAs of his party to support the BJP. Mr. Chautala also exudes confidence that INLD-backed independent R.K. Anand will win. On reports that INLD MLA from Faridabad NIT Nagender Bhadana had cast his vote in favour of independent candidate Subhash Chandra, Mr. Chautala said Mr. Bhadana has accepted that he had returned a favour by supporting Mr. Chandra.
4.15 p.m.: Haryana BJP legislature party chief whip Gian Chand Gupta seeks cancellation of votes cast by a Congress MLA and an INLD legislator for allegedly violating rules, PTI reports. Mr. Gupta says that Congress MLA Randeep Singh Surjewala showed his vote to another party MLA, Kiran Chaudhary, during the voting, a charge denied by Mr. Surjewala.
Mr. Gupta also alleged that 74-year-old INLD MLA Hari Chand Middha took INLD State president Ashok Arora’s help to vote in the Assembly.
3.50 p.m.: PTI reports — BJP MLA from the Khaga Fatehpur constituency Krishna Paswan alleges that she was prevented from voting. Another party MLA, Sangeet Som, alleges that there was misbehaviour with his party legislators. SP MLA Guddu Pandit says he and his brother received threats.
3.40 p.m.: PTI reports — Uttar Pradesh witnesses cross-voting: BJP MLA from Gorakhpur Rural Vijay Bahadur Yadav said he voted for the Samajwadi Party candidate. “I voted on the basis of development done by the Chief Minister and I am ready to make any sacrifice,” he said. Read more
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Verbal spat btwn SP MLA Hazi Zamerullah Khan & BJP MLA Raghunandan Singh Badauriya during RS polls, Lucknow. pic.twitter.com/bw53ts1qk6
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BJP kare toh “raasleela”, baki koi aur kare toh unka “character dheela”: Amar Singh on verbal spat b/w SP & BJP MLA pic.twitter.com/MnOZ0BU8G2
2:59 PM – 11 Jun 2016
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2.27 p.m.: Even as polling for the two seats was on in the Jharkhand Assembly, JMM MLA Chamra Linda was arrested in connection with a 2013 case in which he was allegedly involved in a scuffle. Congress MLAs Nirmala Devi and Devendra Singh are also facing arrest warrants in separate cases. Read more
1.49 p.m.: Voting concludes in Uttarakhand. Polling for the lone seat from the State, which began at 9 a.m., concluded at 12.20 p.m., much before its scheduled conclusion at 4 p.m.
1.27 p.m.: All eyes are set on three independent MLAs in Madhya Pradesh. They are yet to reveal their cards.
1.23 p.m.: Returning Officer for the polls in M.P., Bhagwandev Israni tells PTI that counting of votes is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
1.20 p.m.: After having a verbal duel with Mr. Shivakumar over seeking the assistance of Congress MLC Govindaraj by Congress MLA G. Ramakrishna for casting his vote, Mr. Revanna seeks a CBI probe in the manner in which the polls were conducted, reports Nagesh Prabhu from Bengaluru.
1.16 p.m.: More than 80 per cent of the legislators have voted by 1 p.m. in Karnataka
1.10 p.m.: After having a heated arguments inside the polling centre during voting, JD(S) leader H.D. Revanna and Congress leader and Minister D.K. Shivakumar share a lighter moment in the Vidhana Soudha. Photo: Murali Kumar
12.00: Verbal duel breaks out between SP MLA Hazi Zamerullah Khan & BJP MLA Raghunandan Singh Badauriya during the Rajya Sabha polls in Lucknow.
11.50 a.m.: SP MLAs are goons who are openly not letting us cast our vote, they have been exposed, says BJP’s Krishna Paswan
11.30 a.m.: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah chairs a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party in Bengaluru on Saturday morning and issues whip to all MLAs to cast their votes in favour of the party candidates. Read more
11.15 a.m.: Polling was briefly halted and commenced minutes later, after a verbal duel broke out between SP MLA Hazi Zamerullah Khan and BJP MLA Raghunandan Singh Badauriya over their candidates.
11.00 a.m.: ANI reports – Just before voting began, Congress MLAs Devendra Singh and Nirmala Devi and JMM MLA Chamra Limda were issued arrest warrants with the sole aim of preventing them from voting, alleges the Congress adding that they were are trying to approach the courts but to little avail because of the timing of the warrants.
Allegations of bribing JD(S) and Independent MLAs marred the polls in Karnataka but the Election Commission rejected the demands for cancelling them.
With the Congress is keen on bagging three of the four seats from Karnataka, legislators of the faction-ridden Janata Dal (S) are likely to indulge in cross-voting .
Along with JD(S) MLA B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan, who has openly raised the banner of revolt against the party leadership, a few more JD(S) legislators are expected to support the third candidate of the Congress.
All the 224 elected members of the Assembly are expected to exercise their franchise from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no vote for the nominated MLA. The counting process will be videographed. The number of votes required to win is pegged at 45. Read more.
Voting for the three Rajya Sabha seats in this State, in which BJP candidates, senior journalist M.J. Akbar and Anil Dave, and Congress nominee Vivek Tankha are in the fray, began on Saturday with MLA Ramniwas Rawat casting the first ballot at the Legislative Assembly in Bhopal.
After Mr. Rawat who is the Congress chief whip in the Assembly, BJP MLA Girish Gautam cast his vote.
In the polling, 228 members of the House are expected to take part.
Polling that began at 9 a.m. would end at 4 p.m. after which the counting of votes is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., RS returning officer in Madhya Pradesh Bhagwandev Israni said.
Besides the three official candidates, BJP leader Vinod Gotia, openly backed by the party too is in the fray as an Independent.
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a plea of a BJP MLA from Madhya Pradesh seeking modification of an earlier order to enable him to cast his vote in the Rajya Sabha polls on June 11. Read more
Voting for two seats here began in Chandigarh. The seats are falling vacant in August, with three candidates, including Union Minister Birender Singh, in the fray. The Assembly has 90 members.
On Friday, the Congress announced support for INLD-backed Independent candidate and lawyer R.K. Anand for one of the seat.
While Mr. Singh is assured of a comfortable win on first seat, the Congress’ decision has made the task uphill for media baron and BJP-backed Independent candidate Subhash Chandra, who is locked in a keen battle with Mr. Anand for the second seat. Read more
In Uttar Pradesh, where elections are being held for 11 seats, interest is centred around a fight between former Union Minister Kapil Sibal and BJP-backed independent socialite Preeti Mahapatra.
Mr. Sibal will need the support of the BSP, which has 12 votes more than necessary for the success of its own candidates Satish Chandra Mishra and Ashok Sidharth.
BSP chief Mayawati has maintained suspense over her party’s support. But Mr. Sibal can draw heart from the fact that she has already extended backing for a Congress candidate in Madhya Pradesh by promising one vote required for senior Supreme Court lawyer Vivek Tankha, fielded by the Congress.
Congress has 29 MLAs and needs the backing of five more to see Mr. Sibal through.
The ruling SP has fielded seven candidates, including Amar Singh and Beni Prasad Verma, who both rejoined the party recently, and Reoti Raman Singh. Its seventh candidate is, however, short of 9 first preference votes. The SP has been promised of backing by Ajit Singh-led RLD, which has 8 MLAs.
The BJP has fielded Shiv Pratap Shukla, who is sure to get elected on its own 41 MLAs, and has offered 7 surplus votes to Mr. Mahapatra.
Elections to the four seats here began at the Assembly premises in Jaipur.
Leader of the Opposition Rameshwar Dusi cast the first vote, followed by former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, an Assembly spokesperson said.
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, BJP’s national vice-president Om Prakash Mathur, former RBI official Ramkumar Sharma and member of the erstwhile Dungarpur royal family Harsh Vardhan Singh are the BJP candidates, whereas former Union Minister Kamal Morarka filed his nomination papers as an independent.
In the House of 200, the ruling BJP has 160 members and the Congress 24. The National People’s Party has four, ‘the BSP three, the National Unionist Zamindara Party two. Seven are independents.
The BJP has claimed the support of two legislators of the National Unionist Zamindara Party and three independents, who attended its training programme on Friday at a hotel.
The Congress’s State unit announced its support to Mr. Morarka on the directions of the AICC and issued a whip to the party MLAs to vote for him. It is expecting support of independent MLAs and other non-BJP parties.
Due to the presence of Mr. Morarka, polling has become necessary. Read more
In Jharkhand also, a close contest is possible where a united opposition can upset the ruling BJP’s calculations.
But its first candidate and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is sure of victory.
The BJP has 43 MLAs on its own and enjoys the support of six more MLAs of its allies.
JMM supremo Shibu Soren’s son Basant Soren is pitted against the BJP’s Mahesh Poddar. However, if the Congress (6), RJD and rest of the opposition come together and back the JMM candidate, Mr. Basant can look at victory. Read more
In Uttarkhand, where election is only for one seat, Congress nominee Pradeep Tamta is set to sail through, needing just two additional votes apart from his party’s 26 and ally PDF’s six.
Voting concludes in Uttarakhand. Polling for the lone seat from the State, which began at 9 a.m., concluded at 12.20 p.m., much before its scheduled conclusion at 4 p.m. Counting of ballots will begin after 4 p.m., Vidhan Sabha Secretary Jagdish Chandra said.
Security around the Assembly premises was tightened with heavy deployment of security personnel around the building.
The BJP got another setback on Friday with its Bhimtal MLA Dan Singh Bhandari tendering his resignation from the membership of the Assembly to Speaker Kunjwal late last night.
In his resignation to the Speaker, Mr. Bhandari had urged him to accept his resignation with immediate effect. Mr. Bhandari’s resignation mentions no reason for doing so. In the House, with an effective strength of 59, any side will need 30 votes to emerge the winner.