New Delhi: In a major blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) its leader SS Ahluwalia lost the Rajya Sabha polls in Jharkhand. Ahluwalia, who was a former Rajya Sabha deputy leader of opposition, needed 23 votes but could secure only 20 in the polls held on Thursday.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Congress candidates won the Rajya Sabha polls winning 23 and 25 votes respectively. There were two vacancies from Jharkhand for which there were three candidates. While BJP had put up Ahluwali, JMM's candidate was Sanjeev Kumar and Congress had fielded acting state unit chief Pradeep Balmuchu.
Even though BJP-JMM alliance is ruling the state, but both the parties de3cided to go their separate ways in the Rajya Sabha polls. There was a difdference between the two parties over Ahluwali's nomination following which JMM nominated Sanjeev Kumar.
SS Ahluwalia needed 23 votes but got only 20. Congress and JMM candidates won easily with 25 and 23 votes respectively.
The Election Commission (EC) had countermanded the elections on March 30 following allegations of horse trading as independent candidate Anshuman Mishra was accused of using money power to get votes. With several seniors BJP leader voicing their displeasure at the way party MLAs were asked to vote in favour on Mishra, the BJP leadership decided to dump him leading to the countermand.
The Supreme Court had on Wednesday refused to interfere in the Rajya Sabha election in Jharkhand. The apex court said it will not put a stay on the biennial election to the two Rajya Sabha seats, since the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation in the case is still on.
The Election Commission has already written to the government for a CBI probe into the events that had led to countermand of March 30 Rajya Sabha elections in Jharkhand. The decision came after the Jharkhand High Court had asked the Commission to constitute a probe.
With the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) with five MLAs on Thursday deciding to vote for the JMM candidate, the BJP with 18 members was always going to find it difficult to secure Ahluwalia's nomination.
Jharkhand Assembly position:
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha: 11