Rajya Sabha Election: Elections for 19 Rajya Sabha seats spread across eight states has started today. Polling began at 9:00 am, and will end at 4:00 pm. Counting of votes will commence at 5:00 pm. Of the 19 seats for which polling will be held, four each are from Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, three each from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, two from Jharkhand, and one each from Manipur, Mizoram and Meghalaya.
Earlier, the elections were to take place on March 26 for 55 Rajya Sabha seats. However, 37 candidates have already been elected without a contest. The EC had deferred the March 26 Rajya Sabha elections citing the threat of the novel coronavirus.
HERE ARE 10 KEY POINTERS ABOUT RAJYA SABHA ELECTION:
1. The Rajya Sabha polls 2020 is being held for 19 seats. These include:
- Andhra Pradesh-4
- Madhya Pradesh-3
- Meghalaya -1
- Mizoram -1
2. Special arrangements for election in view of coronavirus: As per the Election Commission's order, every MLA will be screened for body temperature and will have use mask and adhere to social distancing norms. Legislators having a fever or showing other symptoms will be kept in a separate waiting room.
3. In Karnataka, where elections were held for four seats, all the candidates -- former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, BJP candidates Iranna Kadadi and Ashok Gasti -- have been declared elected unopposed. The Bharatiya Janata Party nominee Nabam Rebia was also elected unopposed to the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Arunachal Pradesh.
4. In Gujarat, the BJP has fielded three candidates -- Abhay Bharadwaj, Ramila Bara and Narhari Amin -- for the four seats, while the Congress, which has seen desertions in its legislative ranks, has given tickets to two nominees Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki. Considering that the effective strength of the assembly is reduced to 172, a candidate will require the support of a minimum of 35 MLAs to win, as per the RS election standard formula. Ten assembly seats are currently vacant in Gujarat -- eight due to resignations of Congress MLAs and two due to court cases.
5. In Madhya Pradesh, both the BJP and the Congress have fielded two candidates each for the three seats. BJP has fielded former Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sumer Singh Solanki, the Congress has named Digvijaya Singh and Dalit leader Phool Singh Baraiya. In the 230-member assembly, the BJP currently has 107 MLAs and also enjoys the support of two legislators of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), one of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and two Independents, while the opposition Congress has 92 MLAs. Currently, the effective strength of the House is 206, as 24 seats are lying vacant.
6. In Rajasthan, both the ruling Congress and opposition BJP have lodged their legislators in different hotels after accusing each other of poaching MLAs. The Congress has nominated K C Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi, while the BJP has fielded Rajendra Gehlot and Onkar Singh Lakhawat. There are total of three seats up for grabs, and four candidates (two from Congress and as many from BJP) have filed nomination papers.
7. In Andhra Pradesh, the ruling YSR Congress is poised to win all the four seats given its formidable strength in the state Assembly. This is the first time that an election is being conducted for Rajya Sabha seats from the state, post-bifurcation in 2014. With a strength of 151 in the 175-member Assembly and the support of four "rebel" legislators of TDP and Jana Sena, the YSRC is comfortably placed to win all four. Minimum 36 votes are required for a candidate to win from Andhra Pradesh.
8. In Jharkhand, JMM president Shibu Soren, Congress candidate Shahzada Anwar and BJP state chief Deepak Prakash are in the fray for the two Rajya Sabha seats in Jharkhand.
9. In Meghalaya, the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) has fielded W R Kharlukhi for the lone seat and he will be up against Kennedy Khyriem of the Congress. And, in Mizoram, The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) has fielded the party's national core committee member K Kanlalvena, while the Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) and the Congress nominated B Lalchhanzova and Lallianchhunga, respectively.
10. Candidates contesting today: Abhay Bharadwaj, Ramila Bara and Narhari Amin, Shaktisinh Gohil, Bharatsinh Solanki, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sumer Singh Solanki, Digvijaya Singh, Phool Singh Baraiya, K C Venugopal, Neeraj Dangi,Rajendra Gehlot, Onkar Singh Lakhawat, Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose, Mopidevi Venkata Ramana Rao, A Ayodhya Rami Reddy, Parimal Nathwaniare, Varla Ramaiah, Shibu Soren, Shahzada Anwar, Deepak Prakash, W R Kharlukhi, K Kanlalvena, B Lalchhanzova and Lallianchhunga.