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"No cross voting will be done": BJP hopeful to win Himachal Pradesh RS polls

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Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) | February 27, 2024 10:55:08 AM IST
As the stage is set for a high-octane Rajya Sabha election battle in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday, the BJP has exuded hope in its candidates winning the poll.

The Congress candidate is senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, while the BJP has put up former Congress MLA Harsh Mahajan for the seat.

Harsh Mahajan is a three-time Congress MLA and former minister who resigned from the party in September 2022 ahead of the Assembly polls and joined the BJP.

BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan, while speaking to ANI, said that his party will give a good fight to the Congress, the ruling party of the state.

"We are hoping for the best. We will give a good fight to Congress. We will make it interesting..." Mahajan said.

While speaking to ANI, BJP MLA Jagat Singh Negi said that there would be no cross-voting as his party has a number to win the election.

"We have the numbers. There will be no cross-voting. We will get a good number of votes..." Negi said.

Notably, the Congress has a clear majority with 40 out of 68 MLAs and the support of three independent MLAs. Despite the fact that the BJP, with 25 MLAs, is far behind in the number game, it has forced a contest by fielding Mahajan against Singhvi.

Earlier on Sunday, the Congress issued a whip to its MLAs to vote for party candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Following the whip, all the candidates will have to show the ballot to the authorised agent, who can declare a vote invalid if any MLA refuses to show the ballot.

On Monday, the BJP nominee complained to the Chief Election Commissioner, saying that the Congress has issued a three-line whip to its MLAs for the polls, which he said was unethical.

"Such a whip is not only unethical but also against the conducting of elections to the Rajya Sabha as it will affect the decision making ability of the MLAs," Harsh Mahajan said in his complaint.

After the complaint was filed, the Congress hit out at the BJP State Minister Harsh Wardhan Chauhan said that the charges to the poll body were a result of 'frustration' in the BJP.

Harsh Wardhan Chauhan, the Himachal Pradesh Minister, alleged that the BJP is planning "horse trading".

"This is the BJP's frustration because the number of MLAs is not in favour of the BJP. 40 MLAs are with Congress, and 3 are independent. The BJP only has 25 MLAs. ...even without numbers, BJP is fielding their candidate, which means they're planning horse trading..." Chauhan said.

Former HP CM and BJP leader Jairam Thakur said, "Our candidate for Rajya Sabha elections is Harsh Mahajan. I want all MLAs to vote, and we expect our candidate to win. The Election Commission has made everything clear regarding the whip. We should wait for the results..."

Voting for 56 Rajya Sabha seats from 15 states, which are falling vacant in April, will be held on Tuesday.

While 50 members retire on April 2, six will retire the following day. Of the 238 members of the Upper House at present, 109 are from NDA parties, while 89 belong to parties in the INDI alliance.

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

The Rajya Sabha MPs are elected by the MLAs in an indirect election through the system of proportional representation. They are mostly foregone conclusions, with elections being held unopposed and all party candidates sailing through.

A total of 56 seats are falling vacant in this round of the biennial elections. The

BJP can win 27 seats as per its numbers, plus 1 more with the help of the BJD in Odisha. (ANI)

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