The Upper Hand – States News

The state Rajya Sabha byelections could see a nervy contest for the third sea.

Hectic lobbying has begun for nominations to the three upcoming vacancies in the Rajya Sabha (RS) from Madhya Pradesh in April. Given their current numbers in the Vidhan Sabha, both the ruling Congress and the BJP will win one seat each. The third seat is likely to see a contest. The Congress has a better chance of bagging it, but the BJP under Amit Shah has made it a norm to not give up in close contests.

Currently, of the 11 RS seats from the state, the BJP has eight and the Congress three. Each candidate needs 58 votes to win a seat. At present, the Congress has 114 MLAs, the BJP 107, the SP one, the BSP two while four seats are with Independents. For the third seat, the Congress needs two more votes, which it expects will come from the ranks of the Independents, BSP and SP legislators that support the Kamal Nath government. The BJP needs nine more votes than the 107 it has to win the third seat. Party sources say a second candidate will be fielded, in the hope that infighting in the Congress will lead to cross-voting in its favour.

The names of Congr­ess probables include Digvij­aya Singh (renominated), Jyotiraditya Scindia and a few other biggies. There is even a demand to give general secretary Priyanka Gandhi a nomina­t­ion from MP. In all likelihood, though, Scindia will be the second candidate to ensure that his flock of upset MLAs they have been demanding the PCC chief’s post for him stay with the party.

As for the BJP candi­d­ates, the sure seat is likely to go to general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya or ex-minister J.S. Pawaiya. For the third seat, state BJP spokesperson Rahul Kothari says they are confident of securing adequate numbers given that other parties and Independents may decide to support our candidates, suggesting that this April, cross-voting is a real possibility.

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