Haryana Rajya Sabha results: Ajay Maken received 29 votes. (File)
New Delhi: In a major humiliation, the Congress party couldn’t win one of the two Rajya Sabha seats that went to polls on Friday, despite having the required numbers. BJP’s Krishan Lal Panwar and Jannayak Janata Party-backed independent candidate, Kartikeya Sharma — who also received BJP support — won both the seats. Out of the 70 Haryana Assembly votes, Panwar was comfortably elected with 31 votes. The main fight, however, was between Sharma and Maken. Sharma, a media baron, eventually edged out the Congress veteran.
How did Ajay Maken lose the Rajya Sabha seat?
In Rajya Sabha elections, members of legislative Assemblies can vote only once. So if there are two candidates in the fray, a member can only vote for one. Panwar won the elections by receiving 31 votes. Ajay Maken received 29 votes, whereas Sharma polled 29.6 votes. Before voting, it was believed that Maken will sail through. So what happened?
Three developments that happened on the floor of the house sealed Maken’s fait. One Congress vote was declared invalid and one of its MLAs cross-voted for Sharma.
BB Batra, Congress chief whip in Haryana, said one of the Congress MLAs had ticked the ‘I’ option, making it valid. Also, Kuldeep Bishnoi, a Congress MLA, voted for Sharma.
Another factor was that an Independent candidate didn’t vote. Which means only 88 votes were polled.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said Kuldeep Bishnoi voted according to his inner conscience. He claimed the Congress MLA had faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies.
Bishnoi, MLA from Adampur, however, wrote a cryptic tweet on Saturday morning. “I have the ability to crush the fun, Do not leave the forest because of the fear of snakes. good morning,” wrote.
What Ajay Maken said on his Rajya Sabha defeat?
Ajay Maken has called for strict action against Bishnoi for cross-voting. He also raised doubts over the decision to disqualify a Congress MLA’s vote. “We objected that one vote which was given to independent should be cancelled. But our vote was cancelled and their rejected vote was accepted. We’re getting this examined legally,” he told the news agency ANI.