Rajya Sabha elections; Voting begins in 4 states for 16 vacant seats in Upper House

The nail-biting contest for 16 vacant seats in the Upper House in four states, Rajasthan, Haryana, Karnataka, and Maharashtra has begun on June 10. This Rajya Sabha election comes ahead of the presidential election in July and it is a crucial contest amidst the upcoming election. 

As per reports, the elections in four states – Rajasthan, Haryana, Maharashtra and Karnataka would be acid tests for leaders such as Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Meanwhile, the Election Commissioner said that special observers have been deployed in the states amid allegations of horse-trading efforts.

The 57 vacant seats are spread across 15 states. Of these, the BJP held 23 seats and eight were held by Congress. The rest were divided between the other parties. Opposition-ruled states like Rajasthan and Maharashtra are expected to face the toughest competition, with both parties reaching out to prevent their MLAs from being hunted down. To prevent poaching of their leaders, major political parties had corralled their MLAs in hotels and resorts.

The maximum seats, 11, are located in Uttar Pradesh. It is followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu with six seats each. Five seats from Bihar, four each from Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh, and three each from Madhya Pradesh and Odisha were also vacant. In addition, two seats each from Punjab, Jharkhand, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana and one seat from Uttarakhand are also vacant. 

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Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal, Congress’s Randeep Surjewala, Jairam Ramesh and Mukul Wasnik, and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut are some of the prominent personalities who are taking part in the election. The election results will be out by June 10 evening.