Rajasthan: Congress Wins Two Rajya Sabha Seats, BJP Gets One
Logos for the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Indian National Congress  party are displayed on a computer. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Rajasthan: Congress Wins Two Rajya Sabha Seats, BJP Gets One

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The Congress won two Rajya Sabha seats from Rajasthan and the Bharatiya Janata Party got one in the elections held on Friday.

Both ruling party nominees, All India Congress Committee general secretary and former Union minister KC Venugopal and state unit general secretary Neeraj Dangi, were declared elected. Rajasthan BJP vice president Rajendra Gehlot won the third seat.

Onkar Singh Lakhawat, the second candidate fielded by the opposition party, lost.

With the two wins, the number of Congress members in the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan has increased to three. The remaining seven seats from the state are with the BJP.

Out of the 200 MLA in the Rajasthan Assembly, 198 cast their vote. Rajasthan minister and Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal and CPM’s Girdhari Lal kept away due to their health.

KC Venugopal got 64 votes, his party colleague Neeraj Dangi 59 and BJP's Rajendra Gehlot 54. Lakhawat, the defeated candidate, got 20 votes. One vote, cast in favour of the BJP, was rejected.

The results were on predictable lines.

In a House of 200, the Congress has 107 MLAs and is supported by 13 independents, two CPM MLAs, two Bhartiya Tribal Party MLAs and one from Rashtriya Lok Dal.

The BJP has 72 MLAs and the support of three Rashtriya Loktantrik Party members - enough to win just one seat.

The elections at the state assembly building were conducted following social distancing norms to guard against the spread of coronavirus.

The MLAs entered after thermal screening and were given masks. Each legislator was given a separate pen to mark the ballot paper.

But there was a flutter when Congress MLA Wajib Ali came to cast his vote wearing a full PPE kit. The MLA has recently returned from Australia.

The BJP protested, saying that he was violating quarantine norms and a police complaint was also lodged later.

The MLA, however, said he has already tested negative for Covid-19.

Also read: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot Says States Did Their Bit, Time For Central Support 

Newly elected Congress MPs Venugopal and Dangi said they will raise the issues that concern the state in the Upper House.

Congratulating the new parliamentarians, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said it was a victory of the party's ideology, policies and programmes under the leadership of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The Congress had confined its MLAs to a hotel for several days before the elections, claiming that the BJP was trying to poach them.

The BJP had dismissed the move as theatrics. It too shifted its MLAs to a hotel for a couple of days, saying this was being done for their training.

AICC spokesperson Randeep Surjewala called the results a victory for democracy and the defeat of a conspiracy. He said the win was a birthday gift for party leader Rahul Gandhi, who has turned 50 on Friday.

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