oppn parties Horse Trading Again As BJP Gains Two RS Seats

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Calcutta HC scraps 2016 teacher appointment process, 25757 teachers to lose their jobs, ordered to repay salaries withdrawn in 4 weeks
oppn parties
Horse Trading Again As BJP Gains Two RS Seats

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2024-02-28 06:49:35

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

The Rajya Sabha elections were marred by cross-voting that mainly benefitted the BJP. The party managed to win 2 extra seats - one each in UP and Himachal Pradesh. In Himachal Pradesh, despite having just 25 MLAs (Congress has 40), the BJP managed to stun the GoP by poaching 6 Congress MLAs and winning over 3 independents to force a tie at 34 votes each. After that, a draw of lots ensured that Congress candidate and noted Supreme Court lawyer Abhishek Singhvi did not make it to the Rajya Sabha as the BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan emerged the winner.

The Congress government of Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu is in danger now as after cross-voting by 6 MLAs, a total of 26 MLAs are now demanding Sukhu's ouster. The BJP has already moved in - on the day of the voting for RS elections, it demanded a division for a vote on a budget proposal which was denied by the Speaker. Later, former BJP chief minister Jairam Thakur, along with several BJP MLAs, met the state governor and the buzz is that the party will move a no-confidence motion against Sukhu.

In UP, the report is that 7 SP MLAs voted in favour of BJP candidates and one abstained which resulted in the party getting an extra RS seat. That this was going to happen was indicated a day earlier when the SP chief whip Manoj Kumar Pandey had resigned. Pandey's resignation opened the doors for more desertions and the SP candidate Alok Ranjan could not win.

The BJP also suffered embarrassment due to cross-voting in Karnataka as one party MLA voted for Congress candidate Ajay Maken while another abstained. Although it did not change the overall result and the BJP won one seat which it was slated to win as per numerical strength, it resulted in red faces in the state unit. The BJP had tried to create a rift in the Congress party in Karnatka by fielding a fifth candidate for the four seats going to polls but the plan was foiled by ST Somashekar who voted for Ajay Maken and Shivaram Hebbar who chose to abstain. It remains to be seen what disciplinary action the party takes against these two MLAs for defying the party whip.

Of late, the BJP is trying to win elections by any means (the Chandigarh mayoral election fiasco was a blot on democracy) and the voting for the latest round of Rajya Sabha elections once again proves this. Although with 2 extra seats in RS, the party has ensured that the NDA is now just 4 short of the majority mark in the Upper House, it has once again resorted to horse trading to achieve this.