Top guns Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Jairam Ramesh, Randeep Surjewala, Sanjay Raut elected

Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal, Randeep Surjewala and Jairam Ramesh of Congress and Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena were among 16 candidates elected to the Rajya Sabha from four states where polls were held on Friday after a tussle over the vote crusader and the alleged violation of election rules delayed the count by about eight hours in Maharashtra and Haryana.

In a show of shrewd election management, two BJP candidates and a party-backed independent who had an outside chance of being elected won victories in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Haryana.

In Maharashtra, the BJP won three of Rajya Sabha’s six seats in the state, the results of which were announced early on Saturday.

The BJP winners are Union Minister Piyush Goyal, former Minister of State Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik. The ever-present face of Shiv Sena, Sanjay Raut, NCP’s Praful Patel, a former labor minister, and Congress’ Imran Pratapgarhi also won the hard-fought elections.

Former BJP MP Dhananjay Mahadik defeated Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Pawar for the sixth seat.

“Elections are contested not just for fight but for victory. Jai Maharashtra,” tweeted Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP, the opposition leader whose refusal to have consensus candidates for the Rajya Sabha has forced protests. state elections for the Upper House of Parliament after 24 years.

In Haryana, BJP’s Krishan Lal Panwar and Saffron-backed independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma won the two seats for which elections were held, while Ajay Maken of the Big Old Party, former Union Minister, lost.

Returning officer RK Nandal said Panwar got 36 votes, while Sharma got 23 first-preference votes and 6.6 BJP-transferred votes, bringing his total to 29.6. It was a photo-finish as Maken got 29 votes, but lost because he failed to get any second-preference votes.

Congressman and authorized poll worker BB Batra said while a party MP’s vote was declared invalid, Kuldeep Bishnoi voted for Sharma, a media baron who entered the polls fray as a independent candidate supported by the BJP and its ally JJP.

Speaking to reporters at the Vidhan Sabha compound shortly after 4 a.m., Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said, “I thank all MPs who voted for the BJP candidate and the independent candidate. sort of a victory for the people of Haryana and a victory for democracy.”

“The party will welcome him if he joins,” the BJP leader said when asked if the party’s doors were open to him.

In an emphatic endorsement of the BJP in Karnataka, the ruling party got the last laugh by winning all three Rajya Sabha seats it contested out of the four that went to the polls.

Congress, the main opposition party, only managed to win one of the two seats for which its candidates were vying, while the JD(S) failed.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, actor-politician Jaggesh and MLC Lehar Singh Siroya of the BJP, and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh of the Congress were declared victorious.

Sitharaman and Ramesh were re-elected to the Rajya Sabha of Karnataka.

There was suspense over the outcome of the fight for the fourth seat, which saw a close contest between the three main political parties none of which had enough votes for an easy victory.

However, BJP’s Siroya prevailed over Mansoor Ali Khan of Congress and D Kupendra Reddy (JDS), apparently aided by cross-voting from rival parties and help from independents.

In Rajasthan, the ruling Congress won three of the four seats and the BJP one.

Subhash Chandra, a BJP-backed independent candidate and media baron whose entry into the fray added spice to the election battle, fell by the wayside. Chandra, who won the last RS election as an independent in Haryana, tried his luck from Rajasthan.

Congress candidates Randeep Surjewala, Mukul Wasnik and Pramod Tiwari were declared elected, as was BJP’s Ghanshyam Tiwari.

In an interesting development, BJP MP Shobharani Kushwah voted in favor of Congress candidate Pramod Tiwari. The BJP promptly suspended her from the party’s list of core members.

“When everyone knows that 126 MPs are with us, why did (the BJP) present an independent candidate? They wanted to try to haggle but that didn’t happen,” Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot told reporters at the Assembly Complex in Jaipur. .

The victory of the Congress candidates sent a strong message to the country, he said, saying the party would retain power in assembly elections next year.

The results were announced in Karnataka and Rajasthan on Friday night but were delayed in Maharashtra and Haryana amid intense rows from rival parties over an alleged violation of voting rules.

The election commission gave the go-ahead for the count after reviewing detailed reports submitted by returning officers, including video footage.

State Congress Speaker Nana Patole, in a letter to the CEC, claimed that Mungantiwar “tainted the voting procedure” by showing his ballot to people other than his own party poll workers. Rana openly displayed the Hanuman Chalisa, a religious book, and sought to influence other voters, he alleged.

The polling committee ordered Maharashtra’s returning officer to reject the vote cast by Shiv Sena legislator Suhas Kande.

Counting was also suspended in Haryana for the same reasons after
BJP candidate Krishan Lal Panwar and independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma sent a missive to the EC alleging that Congress MPs Kiran Choudhary and BB Batra showed their ballot papers to unauthorized persons after marking them and that the episodes were “duly captured” by cameras.

Elections were held in all four states amid apprehensions of horse trading and allegations of cross-voting incitement. Major parties drove their MPs to quaint hotels and resorts to herd their flocks together, but couldn’t stop some sheep from jumping over the ditch.