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BJP set to sweep Delhi MCD polls, AAP alleges EVM tampering



New Delhi, Apr 26 : Steamrolling opposition, the BJP today swept the MCD polls, trouncing the Aam Aadmi Party that rules Delhi and decimating the Congress, in an election which was billed as a referendum on the Arvind Kejriwal government.

Delhi’s overwhelming rejection of the AAP came barely two years into its meteoric rise in the 2015 Assembly polls when it had clinched an unprecedented 67 of the 70 seats.

Today, it was left with just 48 wards in its kitty out of the 272 spread across the three municipal corporations in the national capital.

After its abysmal performance in the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls when it could manage to win just three seats, the BJP added muscle to its decade-long domination of the corporations effortlessly bucking anti-incumbency, with the electorate giving a thumbs up to its gamble of fielding all fresh faces.

The results are being seen as a ringing endorsement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies and a reflection of his unmatched popularity.

Taking forward its stupendous electoral successes in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the BJP won 181 seats, putting paid to Congress’ hopes of a revival in the national capital which it ruled uninterruptedly for 15 years between 1998 and 2013. Congress could win just 30 seats.

The BJP’s corporation-wise tally is: SDMC – 70, NDMC – 64 and EDMC – 47 as against AAP’s 16, 21 and 11 and Congress’ 12, 15 and 3 wards.

AAP’s abject defeat, which came close on the heels of its abysmal performance in the Assembly polls in Goa, where it failed to open account, and poorer than expected show in Punjab, does not portend well for the party which is bracing itself for a bigger battle in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home turf Gujarat. Assembly election is Gujarat is due later this year.

As the AAP hit a political low after successive jolts in the Punjab and Goa Assembly polls, and the Rajouri Garden Assembly bypoll here, there were murmurs of discontent in the party.

Its Delhi convenor Dilip Pandey resigned while Chandni Chowk MLA Alka Lamba offered to step down owing responsibility for the debacle, pointing towards an impending churning in the party.

Delhi’s Water Resources Minister Kapil Mishra, a popular face, called for “introspection” instead of raking up the issue of alleged manipulation of EVMs.

The ripple effect of AAP’s defeat in Delhi was felt in Punjab where knives were out, with party MP Bhagwant Mann assailing the party leadership for the loss in the assembly election.

Mann alleged that the AAP leadership was behaving like a “mohalla (neighbourhood) cricket team” and said there was no use of finding falut with the EVMs.

There were noises of discontent in Congress, too, with Sheila Dikshit, who led the party’s government for 15 years in Delhi, calling for “introspection”.

“The party was not able top reach out (to voters) the way we should have. Any excuse can be given when you don’t want to do anything. The decision has to be taken by the high command.

The leadership needs to introspect,” she said.

Dikshit, who did not campaign, said Ajay Maken, the party’s state unit chief, did not involve senior leaders in electioneering.

“I was not asked for campaigning then how could have I gone for it,” Dikshit said.

A jubilant Modi, meanwhile, expressed his gratitude to the people of Delhi for reposing faith in the BJP and ensuring its resounding victory.

“I laud the hardwork of team @BJP4Delhi which made the resounding MCD win possible,” he tweeted.

In his first reaction, Kejriwal promised all cooperation to the civic bodies and refrained from commenting on EVMs, the “manipulation” of which he had identified as the reason behind AAP’s string of poll upsets.

“I congratulate BJP on their victory in all 3 MCDs. My govt looks forward to working wid MCDs for the betterment of Delhi,” Kejriwal, who went into a huddle with top leaders of the AAP as the results trickled in early in the day, tweeted.

The Congress, which was hoping to bounce back in Delhi, has also been consigned to political wilderness, at least for the time being. Ajay Maken, who steered the party’s Delhi unit over the last two years, resigned.

The grand old party did increase its vote share from 9.7 per cent in the 2015 assembly polls to 21.2 per cent in the civic elections, but the scale of the defeat overshadowed whatever little gains it made.

In the 2012 municipal polls, BJP had garnered 36.74 per cent vote share and the Congress 30.50 per cent. The AAP was yet to make its electoral debut then.

The opposition called it a “referendum” on the Kejriwal government and demanded that the CM resign.

Experts credited the BJP’s landslide victory to the “Modi wave”, while the AAP’s debacle was described as the bursting of a political bubble.

Sanjay Kumar, Director of the Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), was of the view that the AAP’s defeat will “reduce its chances of survival”.

“The way the AAP has been routed, its chances of survival have been reduced. Parties contest elections all the time, they win and they lose as well, it should not be too worrisome for them. But, the AAP’s case is different,” he said.


BJP avenges by-poll defeat, wins UP Rajya Sabha cliffhanger



Yogi Adityanath, Akhilesh Yadav

New Delhi, March 23: Avenging its defeat at the hands of SP-BSP combine in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha constituencies, the BJP on Friday scored a major victory when its candidate defeated a BSP nominee for the 10th seat in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections in which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and actor Jaya Bachchan of the SP were re-elected.

In all in the elections held for 25 seats on Friday, the BJP won 12, the Congress five, Trinamool Congress four, Telangana Rashtra Samiti three and the Samajwadi Party one.

Smarting under the loss of by-poll elections in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the BJP left no stone unturned to win the battle against Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) when its candidate Anil Agarwal, a Ghaziabad-based businessman, defeated Mayawati’s candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar in a cliffhanger of a contest that went to the wire.

While the BSP candidate got 33 votes — short by four — in the first preference votes against 22 of the BJP, the ruling party nominee was declared winner on the basis of second preference votes.

The votes of SP MLA Nitin Agarwal and Anil Singh of the BSP, who cross voted in favour of the BJP, were declared invalid.

In Uttar Pradesh alone, the BJP won nine seats including those of Jaitley and Agarwal. Other winners were Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, G.V.L. Narasimha Rao and Harnath Singh Yadav.

While the BSP cried use of money, muscle power and state machinery by the BJP to win the elections, it refused to blame the Samajwadi for defeat.

On the other hand, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath blamed the BSP’s loss on the Samajwadi Party’s “opportunism” as it failed to transfer votes.

The other major battle was in the Congress-ruled Karnataka where the ruling party won three seats and one went to the BJP. While the Congress was sure of two seats on its own, it wrested the third in a fight with Janata Dal-Secular that complained irregularities. B.M. Farooq of the JD-S lost to G.C. Chandrasekhar of the Congress in the state.

Others elected from Karnataka were I. Hanumanthaiah and Syed Naseer Hussain of the Congress and Rajeev Chandrashekar of the BJP.

West Bengal went on predicted lines as the ruling Trinamool Congress bagged four seats and while Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi backed by the Trinamool defeated CPI-M’s Rabin Deb.

The four Trinamool candidates are sitting Rajya Sabha member Nadimul Haque and first time nominees Subhasish Chakraborty, Abir Biswas and Santanu Sen.

According to election officials, Trinamool’s Chakraborty secured the highest number of 54 votes. Haque and Biswas got 52 each and Sen 51. Singhvi garnered 47 votes. The votes of two Trinamool lawmakers – Jakir Hossain and Mrigendra Nath Maiti – were rejected.

Telangana’s ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) bagged all three Rajya Sabha seats. B. Prakash, J. Santosh Kumar and AB. Lingaiah Yadav were declared victorious while Congress candidate and former union minister P. Balram Naik was defeated.

In Chattisgarh, BJP candidate Saroj Pandey defeated Congress’ Lekhram Sahu by a comfortable margin, getting also the votes two MLAs who cross voted in her favour. Pandey secured 51 votes while Sahu got only 36.

In the by-election held in Kerala, the Left Front-backed candidate M.P. Veerendra Kumar won by securing a huge margin against Congress candidate Babu Prasad. Kumar, who resigned from the Rajya Sabha after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar joined hands with the BJP, contested the seat after shifting from the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).

The 80-year-old former Union Minister and newspaper baron secured 89 votes as against 40 that Babu Prasad got.

Out of a total of 58 Rajya Sabha seats to be filled, 33 candidates from 10 states were already declared elected unopposed on March 15. Of the 33, the BJP won 17. These included seven union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar.

The Congress had won four, the Biju Janata Dal three, the RJD, JD-U and TDP two each and the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the YSR Congress one each.

In the elections held to 58 seats, the BJP won 29, the Congress nine, Trinamool four, TRS and BJD three each, JD-U, TDP and RJD two each and Samajwadi Party, Shiv Sena, NCP and YSR Congress one each.


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Congress wins 3 seats, BJP 1 in Karnataka RS polls




Bengaluru, March 23: The ruling Congress on Friday won three seats and opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) one in the Rajya Sabha biennial election for four seats in Karnataka, said an official.

“All three Congress candidates and one from the BJP won the contest while the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) candidate lost for the fourth seat,” an Election Commission official told reporters here after counting of votes.

L. Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and G.C. Chandrasekhar of the Congress and Rajeev Chandrashekar of the BJP were declared elected by the Returning Officer.

B.M. Farooq of the JD-S lost to G.C. Chandrasekhar of the Congress.


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Rajya Sabha election results: Congress’ Abhishek Manu Singhvi wins from West Bengal, TMC clinches 4 seats




New Delhi, March 23: Voting for the high-level Rajya Sabha elections to fill 25 seats in six states- Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Telangana held on Friday. 

Out of 58 Rajya Sabha seats, polling is being held for 25 vacant seats as 33 candidates from 10 states have been elected unopposed.

The voting began at 9 am and continued till 4 pm. Counting of votes started from 5 pm.

Below we have enlisted states and the number of seats which will be filled with today’s verdict: 

Andhra Pradesh (3), Bihar (6), Chhattisgarh (1), Gujarat (4), Haryana (1), Himachal Pradesh (1), Karnataka (4), Madhya Pradesh (5), Maharashtra (6), Telangana (3), Uttar Pradesh (10), Uttarakhand (1), West Bengal (5), Odisha (3), Rajasthan (3) and Jharkhand (2).

Apart from the Rajya Sabha elections, a by-poll will also be held for one seat in Kerala where MP Veerendra Kumar, the Left-backed candidate of Sharad Yadav faction of the JD(U), is fielded against Babu Prasad of the Congress.

Check here updates:

Telangana’s ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) wins all three seats 

B. Prakash, J. Santosh Kumar and AB. Lingaiah Yadav were elected to the Upper House.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee shows victory sign

Following polls results, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee  showed victory sign.

Trinamool Congress bags four seats 

All four TMC candidates — sitting Rajya Sabha member Nadimul Haque and first time nominees Subhasish Chakraborty, Abir Biswas and Santanu Sen — emerged victorious in the vote count.

Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi attains triumph from West Bengal 

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi won Rajya Sabha elections from West Bengal. After winning he said ‘it is humbling and uplifting, it is a result of cooperation between different groups and MLAs.’

Counting begins in Karnataka

Counting of votes started at 7 pm.

Counting begins in UP 

Counting of votes began after clearance from the Election Commission in Uttar Pradesh at 6.33 pm.

TDP leader C M Ramesh unanimously elected

TDP leader C M Ramesh, has been unanimously elected to Rajya Sabha consecutively.

Counting of votes stopped  in Karnataka

Congress’ G. Parameshwara, said “counting of votes has not started as yet because Janata Dal had complained to EC about some discrepancy. Janata Dal has boycotted the voting now, so that will also enhance our chances of victory”.

Counting of votes halted in Uttar Pradesh

Election Commission has not given permission to begin the counting of votes for Rajya Sabha election due to some objections in ballot papers. Counting to begin only after EC gives clearance.

SP and BSP demand from Election Commission to declare votes of BJP’s Nitin Agrawal and BSP’s Anil Singh invalid alleging that they did not show their ballot paper to the polling agent.

BJP wins from Chhattisgarh

BJP’s Saroj Pandey wins Rajya Sabha Election from Chhattisgarh

Visuals from Kerala Legislative Assembly

Visuals from Bengaluru 

BSP MLA Anil Singh cross voted for BJP

Visuals from Telangana Assembly

No cross-voting is going to take place, but BJP MLAs will cross-vote in our favour, says SP

Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav stated there will be no cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha polls being held in Uttar Pradesh, but BJP MLAs will cross-vote in their favour.

MLAs queue up in West Bengal Assembly to vote in Kolkata

Image: ANI

Five seats are being contested in the state. Altogether six candidates, including Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, are in the fray for the five Rajya Sabha seats from this seat.

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath meets party MLAs in Lucknow

Javadekar, Yeddyurappa met BJP candidate Rajeev Chandrashekar in Bengaluru

Samajwadi Party leader, Rajendra Chaudhary said “SP candidate Jaya Bachchan Ji & BSP candidate, (Bhim Rao Ambedkar) whom we are supporting, will win the Rajya Sabha elections. Considering BJP’s condition I’d say that its own MLAs are annoyed & some of them may even end up siding with the opposition”.


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