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No-holds-barred fight for 27 RS seats underway

Sat, Jun 11, 2016, 11:53 AM
Twenty-seven Rajya Sabha seats are at stake for the BJP and the Congress, which both want to win them over so that the other is thwarted from gaining the upper hand in the Upper House that is crucial for both. For the BJP, as the ruling party at the Centre, it can hope to get its Bills passed. For the Congress, by winning most of the seats it can continue to thwart crucial legislation such as the Goods and Services Taxes Bill from being passed and demonstrate it holds the sway despite losing power.

Six Union Ministers, including Nirmala Sitaraman, are seeking to return to the Rajya Sabha.

All eyes are on Uttar Pradesh, where the elections are being held for 11 seats. Interest is centred round Kapil Sibal of the Congress and a BJP-backed independent Preeti Mahapatra.

Preeti has 7 votes and needs 27 more to win. She has to get them from BSP's 12, RLD's 8 and 10 of independents.

Kapil Sibal of the Congress has 29 votes and needs five more to win. The BSP has promised those votes. However, there is threat of cross-voting.

In Karnataka, MLAs have already been caught in sting operations, boasting that anyone could have their vote for Rs 5 crore. The stakes are so high that the leading contenders without the required votes would be willing to give many times that amount to secure their win in the no-holds-barred fight.

In Karnataka, there are 5 candidates for 4 seats. The Congress has the required numbers for securing the win of Jairam Ramesh and Oscar Fernandes. Nirmala Sitaraman has 44 votes and needs one vote from allies, which she might as well get.

There is an independent candidate of the JD(U), who has 40 votes and needs five from other parties. It remains to be seen how he will manage the votes. Therein lies the sting.
Agency: Ap7am Desk

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