Himachal: Luck alone wins BJP nominee Mahajan sole Rajya Sabha seat

However, the ruling Congress' candidate, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, can hardly be considered defeated with the same number of votes!

Harsh Mahajan of the BJP will now represent Himachal Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha (photo: IANS)
Harsh Mahajan of the BJP will now represent Himachal Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha (photo: IANS)

NH Digital

BJP's Harsh Mahajan, a Congress rebel who was once known for his proximity to Himachal Pradesh chief minister Sukhvinder Sukhu, has been elected to the Rajya Sabha today, 27 February.

However, Mahajan's opponent, the Congress nominee Abhishek Manu Singhvi, also secured 34 votes—the same as Mahajan—in the 68-member House, and so can hardly be said to have been 'defeated'!

Mahajan was eventually declared the winner through a draw of lots.

While sources rumoured cross-voting by at least six legislators of the ruling party, the three Independent legislators are believed to have voted in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Meanwhile, in an 'innovative' argument, BJP leader and former chief minister Jai Ram Thakur demanded Sukhu's resignation, claiming that the Congress had been reduced to a 'minority' in the Assembly following its defeat in the Rajya Sabha polls!

The Congress enjoys a comfortable majority of 40 MLAs in the 68-member House. The BJP has a strength of 25 legislators. There are three Independent legislators, comprising two BJP rebels and one from the Congress.

Three-time legislator Mahajan had left the Congress and joined the BJP just ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections

The BJP had also accused the Congress earlier of putting pressure on its legislators by issuing a whip to vote for Singhvi, which the opposition party alleged went against the code of conduct.

Meanwhile, ahead of the announcement of the Rajya Sabha poll results, Chief Minister Sukhu claimed that a CRPF and Haryana Police convoy took away five or six of the legislators.

“I can say that the people who have gone away are being contacted by their families... I urge them to contact their families. There is no need to worry,” he told the media in Shimla.

Reportedly, nine legislators were taken to a resort in Haryana's Panchkula.

The chief minister also noted that the counting had begun with the opposition leaders repeatedly threatening polling officers, which was "not right for democracy".

“They had halted the counting for long. I urge the Himachal BJP unit's leaders to have patience. Don't put pressure on people,” Sukhu had said at the time.

Based on IANS inputs

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