Elections for 19 Rajya Sabha seats spread across eight states will be held on Friday (June 19, 2020). Of the 19 seats which will contest for Rajya Sabha poll, four each are from Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, three each from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, two from Jharkhand, and one each from Manipur, Mizoram, and Meghalaya. The voting began at 9 am on June 19.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan was also seen casting his vote for the Rajya Sabha polls.
The election was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing lockdown. The counting of votes will be held on the evening of June 19 itself, as per the announcement made by the Election Commission earlier.
The polls were originally scheduled to be held on March 26 but on March 24 the Election Commission of India announced its postponement.
The Election Commission (EC) has made elaborate arrangements for the voting keeping in mind the coronavirus pandemic. Every voter (MLA) will be screened for body temperature and will have to use mask and adhere to social distancing norms. Legislators having a fever or showing other symptoms will be kept in a separate waiting room.
The contest taking place in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan will be a neck on neck fight between the BJP and the Congress.
The election in Manipur is also likely to be interesting following the resignation of nine members of the ruling coalition and the opposition Congress pressing for a no-confidence motion against the N Biren Singh government. The BJP has fielded Leisemba Sanajaoba, the titular king of Manipur, while the Congress has fielded T Mangi Babu.
In Karnataka, where elections were to be held for four seats, all the candidates — former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, BJP candidates Iranna Kadadi and Ashok Gasti — have been declared elected unopposed.
In Madhya Pradesh, where BJP’s Jyotiraditya Scindia is in the fray after whose revolt the Congress government fell, the second Congress candidate Phool Singh Baraiya will find it tough to get elected but the Congress is preparing to challenge it in court. Digvijaya Singh is slated to bag one Rajya Sabha seat.
In Jharkhand, the Congress was hoping that Chief Minister Soren will muster the numbers but it seems that Congress candidate Shahzada Anwar will not make it to the Upper House.
In the 230-member assembly, the BJP currently has 107 MLAs and also icludes two legislators of the Bahujan Samaj Party, one of the Samajwadi Party and two Independents, while the opposition Congress has 92 MLAs.