RAJYA SABHA POLLS
Jaipur, June 11 : All the four candidates of BJP including union minister Venkiah Naidu registered easy wins in the Rajya Sabha polls here today under the watchful eyes of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
The four BJP candidates were Naidu, senior leader Om Prakash Mathur, Dholpur royal family’s Harshvardhan Singh and Dalit leader Ram Kumar Verma. According to reports, Naidu and Mathur are said to have received 42 votes each while Singh and Verma have received 40 votes each. While Independent candidate Kamal Morarka received 34 votes.
Earlier in the morning BJP seemed to have prepared on a war footing for the Rajya Sabha elections today. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje with her convoy reached the Vidhan Sabha premises today as early as 8:30 am in the morning to ensure fool proof arrangements for the victory of the four BJP candidates including union minister Venkiah Naidu.
BJP’s Naidu, senior leader Om Prakash Mathur, Dholpur royal family’s Harshvardhan Singh and Dalit leader Ram Kumar Verma are in the fray while Independent businessman Kamal Morarka has staked his claim with the help of Congress and other smaller parties. Each candidate will now require only 40 votes to win the seat as jailed one BSP MLA BL Kushawa has been barred by the Rajasthan HIgh Court from casting his vote.
At least six buses were arranged for the BJP MLAs to arrive at the Vidhan Sabha. These buses with a seating arrangement of 35 to 40 people were escorted by the police under unprecedented security not seen before. Political observers say may be because of the fear of horsetrading but unusual as MLAs were literally locked out for three days before the polls today.
Incidentally Raje and minister Yunus Khan are the polling agents for BJP and all the MLAs will have to show her their votes before casting their votes to avoid any kind of cross voting The two Zamindara Party MLAs Kamini Jindal and Sonadevi will have to show their votes to the BJP agents before casting.
Raje’s insistence on so much security is understandable as a win for all the four candidates will ensure her stature going up higher in the eyes of BJP central leaders. Raje is already a tall leader in the party but her earlier known rivalry with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat is quite known. Also Om Mathur is considered to be close to Modi and is said to align with anti Raje camp. Raje was also surrounded by the Lalit Modi controversy last year around the same time. So by showing her full proof arrangements and her insistence on making the MLAs fall in line, her brownie points would be ensured, especially for Naidu, an important central minister.
Congress party leader and former Chief MInister Ashok Gehlot, however, said the barricading of BJP MLAs shows that the party leaders does not have any kind of confidence in their own MLAs and such measures are the most undemocratic steps.
BJP, however does not need to worry as it has 160 votes in the Assembly of 200 seats. Four independents are supporting the party and the two MLAs of Zamindara Party too. Whereas Morarka has 33 votes in his favour and garnering seven votes through cross voting from BJP MLAs would be a tall order.
The first vote was cast by Congress Opposition leader Rameshwar Dudi.