New Delhi: Voting is underway in four states today, like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Haryana, to elect 16 Rajya Sabha members. A total of 57 Upper House seats in 15 states became vacant recently due to the end of the terms of their members. But 41 candidates booked their berths in the Rajya Sabha unopposed.
Currently, voting has been in progress in the different state legislatures in Maharashtra (six seats), Karnataka (4 seats), Rajasthan (4 seats) and Haryana (2) seats.
Two Union Ministers are running for the Upper House as well. Piyush Goyal (contesting from Maharashtra) and Nirmala Sitharaman (from Karnataka).
All the political parties have been keeping an eye on their MLAs to reduce the chances of cross-voting. Some parties have kept their legislatures in resorts or hotels in order to keep them loyal to the party during election day.
In Rajasthan, internet services have been suspended in the vicinity of Jaipur, where Congress MLAs are temporarily staying. The Rajasthan government took this decision to avoid poaching of MLAs. The Congress MLAs were taken to Jaipur from Udaipur to stay at the Hotel Leela in Amber.
The Rajasthan Congress is looking to send its three members to the Upper House from the state. But the party is short of 15 MLAs to bag all three seats. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is confident of winning three seats in Rajasthan.
AIMIM has decided to back the ruling MVA coalition in Maharashtra despite ideological differences. Several well-known faces are trying their luck in Maharashtra to be elected to the Rajya Sabha. The names of these candidates are “Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde, Dhananjay Mahadik (BJP), Praful Patel (NCP), Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar (Shiv Sena) and Imran Pratapgarhi (Congress).