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HomeEditorialRajya Sabha polls 2022: Maharashtra - Big trade, bargain, backbiting

Rajya Sabha polls 2022: Maharashtra – Big trade, bargain, backbiting

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The Rajya Sabha election has scorched up in Maharashtra, a direct descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, dropped out of the race. Maharashtra has a 288-member assembly which can elect six seats to Rajya Sabha. Each candidate needs a quota of 42 votes to win. Banking on this calculation, the BJP can safely win two seats, the Shiv Sena one, the NCP one, and the Congress one. The Shiv Sena has fielded one more candidate, banking on extra votes from the NCP and the Congress.

BJP has 105 MLAs while Shiv Sena 55, NCP 53, Congress 44, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi three, Samajwadi Party, AIMIM, and Prahar Janshakti Party two each, MNS, CPM, Peasants and Workers Party, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, Swabhimani Party, Jansurajya Shakti and Krantikari Shetkari Party one each. There are 13 Independents, while one seat is vacant.

Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar filed their nomination papers for the elections and expressed confidence in winning the Rajya Sabha polls in 2022. Raut said they wanted the polls to be deferred so that there is no horse-trading. BJP has fielded three candidates in Maharashtra for the Rajya Sabha polls. The Shiv Sena leader said Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) has four candidates in the Rajya Sabha elections and the ruling alliance will win all four seats.

After the BJP kept 113 MLAs, including their independents, in five-star hotels, criticism also started against them. Shiv Sena also did the same. They locked their MLAs in a five-star hotel. The discussion that Hitendra Thakur, who considers ERV Shiv Sena as his elder brother, will lean towards BJP in Rajya Sabha elections caused a stir in the political circles on Tuesday. He was met by Girish Mahajan, who had brought big leaders from other parties into the BJP.

Rajya Sabha elections in four states on June 10, various parties have accommodated legislators from at least three states in resorts, away from potential poaching by rival parties. A practice frequently seen before Rajya Sabha elections; this underlines the importance parties give to seats in the Upper House.

The tenure of six Rajya Sabha members from Maharashtra — Piyush Goyal, Vinay Sahastrabuddhe and Vikas Mahatme (all three from the BJP), P Chidambaram (Congress), Praful Patel (NCP) and Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena) ends on July 4.  Giving a stern message to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections 2022, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition of Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and Congress held a show of solidarity on Tuesday night in Mumbai.

The meeting was attended by all the big figures of the MVA coalition, including Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray, NCP’s Sharad Pawar, and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. During the meeting, Thackeray exuded confidence that all four candidates of the MVA will win the Rajya Sabha polls.

Maharashtra is expected to witness fierce competition between the BJP and the ruling MVA. Six seats will fall vacant in Maharashtra and as per the numbers, the BJP will win two seats while the MVA government will bag three seats. A tough competition is expected for the sixth seat between BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik and Sena’s Sanjay Pawar. Both sides have refused to withdraw their candidates for the sixth seat.

Reportedly, the MVA alliance had tried to reach out to the BJP, asking the saffron party to withdraw its sixth candidate in return for help in the Maharashtra legislative council elections. However, the BJP had rejected the offer after which the Sena shifted its MLAs to a hotel to thwart attempts of poaching.

The Lok Sabha (lower house) and the Rajya Sabha (upper house) are the two houses of India’s Parliament. Currently, the Rajya Sabha has a sanctioned strength of 245 Members of Parliament (MPs). Of them, 233 are elected from states and Union Territories (UTs). India’s President nominates the rest from the fields of art, literature, science and social services. India’s Vice-President is the Rajya Sabha chairperson of the Upper House which also has a Deputy Chair. A critical role of Parliament is to make laws. And no bill has been deemed a law till it has been passed by both houses before being sent to India’s President for his assent. The idea behind having the Rajya Sabha is to ensure richer debates, with the participation of experts from various walks of life, before bills are approved or disapproved.

Lok Sabha MPs have a five-year tenure. They are elected simultaneously. The Lok Sabha is dissolved when national elections are announced. But the Rajya Sabha is never dissolved. Like in the case of the Lok Sabha, each state is allocated Rajya Sabha candidates based on its population. Its MPs are elected by MLAs for six years. Since one-third of them retire every second year, polls are held to fill their vacant seats. In case of death, disqualification or resignation, bypolls are held. A member chosen to fill such a vacancy will serve the remainder of his predecessor’s term.

One might think if a party has more MLAs than others, its Rajya Sabha candidates will definitely win. That’s not necessarily the case. Balloting in Rajya Sabha polls follows a proportional representation principle and a single transferable vote system to ensure only the majority does not dictate the process. Each MLA’s vote is counted once. But MLAs don’t vote for each seat. Instead, they have to list different candidates in order of preference. If a qualifying number of voters choose a candidate as their first choice, he or she is elected. The remaining votes go to the next candidates, but with a lesser value. So, MLAs also vote for candidates from other parties. But MLAs have to show their ballots to an authorised agent from their party to check cross-voting. Independents don’t have to show their ballot.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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