While the ruling Congress in Assam and Trinamool Congress in West Bengal managed to get all candidates backed by them elected in the Rajya Sabha elections Friday, the ruling BJD in Orissa failed to get one of its sponsored candidate elected despite support from BJP legislators in the state.
Prominent among those elected include actor Mithun Chakraborty (West Bengal), T Subbirami Reddy (Andhra Pradesh) and Sanjay Singh (Assam).
While the Election Commission had notified election to 55 Rajya Sabha seats, actual polling took place for 18 seats — Assam (three seats), Orissa (four), Andhra Pradesh (six) and West Bengal (five) — where there were challengers.
In what could be an embarrassment for BJD chief and Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik, sculptor Ragunath Mohapatra failed to get elected as an Independent candidate sponsored by the BJD despite BJP’s support. While all three BJD candidates got elected, it was opposition Congress’s Ranjib Biswal who won the fourth seat as Mohapatra failed to secure enough numbers. More than desired number of BJD MLAs cast their first preference votes to the party’s official candidate, leaving Mohapatra in the lurch.
In Andhra Pradesh, the ruling Congress was saved from any such embarrassment as its rebel candidate withdrew from the fray Thursday, leaving six candidates for the six seats. Congress bagged three seats while TDP and TRS secured two and one respectively.
In West Bengal, cross voting from Congress and Left parties helped Trinamool Congress’s additional candidate get elected against the Congress-backed candidate. Consequently, Trinamool secured four seats — Mithun Chakraborty, Jogen Chowdhury, K D Singh, and Ahmed Hasan. Left Front’s nominee Ritabrata Banerjee, who is SFI general secretary, was elected for the fifth seat from the state. Congress’s A S Malihabadi failed to win because of five MLAs from the Left Front and Congress who voted for Trinamool candidate Ahmed Hasan.
In Assam, both Congress candidates — Bhubaneshwar Kalita and Sanjay Singh — as well as Congress-supported BPF candidate Biswajit Daimary were elected. Combined opposition’s candidate Haidar Hussain, a journalist, failed to secure enough numbers despite support from All India United Democratic Front, BJP and AGP.
(With inputs from ENS, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati)
At Tri Nagar, Smriti Irani centered her speech around Modi, with over 10 references in 11-minute extempore.