In a major boost to the Congress, four of its senior leaders, including Kapil Sibal and P Chidambaram, were elected to the Rajya Sabha on Saturday.
Voting was held for 27 Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Haryana. In eight other states, 30 candidates have been elected unopposed to the Upper House of Parliament.
While Chidambaram won from Maharashtra, Sibal got elected from Uttar Pradesh. Another Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and Oscar Fernandes won from Karnataka.
Sibal was counting on the help of BSP after the BJP supported an independent candidate Preeti Mahapatra. In UP, there were reports that some of the MLAs openly indulged into cross-voting. 11 members were elected to Upper House from Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP has supported many independant candidates in an effort to curtail the chances of Congress from winning majority of seats. Congress is the largest party in the Rajya Sabha.
In Haryana Union Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh and BJP supported independant candidate Subhash Chandra, a media baron, were elected to the Upper House.
In Madhya Pradesh, former additional solicitor general Vijay Tankha got elected on Congress ticket. Other prominent BJP members elected from the state are party spokesman M J Akbar and Anil Dave.
In Rajasthan, all of the four seats went to the BJP candidates . Union minister Venkaiah Naidu and OP Mathur are among th e prominet winners.
In Jharkhand, the BJP’s Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was elected in one of the two seats .The Congress had earlier accused the ruling BJP of using “money and muscle power” to influence the elections.
In Uttarakhand, the Congress’ Pradeep Tamta won the lone seat. BSP supported Congress in both UP and Madhya Pradesh.
Prominent leaders elected to the Upper House are Union Ministers – Suresh Prabhu and Piyush Goyal, eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharati and former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav.