Two I.N.D.I.A bloc MPs get elected to Aligarh Muslim University court in secret ballot; 1 BJP MP loses

In the high-pitch battle, Congress MP Imran Pratapgarhi got the highest number of 53 first-preference votes, followed by AA Rahim who got 49 first-preference votes

Aligarh Muslim University (photo: IANS)
Aligarh Muslim University (photo: IANS)

Ashlin Mathew

In what can be seen as a victory for the I.N.D.I.A bloc in Parliament, Congress MP Imran Pratapgarhi and CPI(M) MP AA Rahim, in a landslide victory, were elected to the Aligarh Muslim University court in an election held at the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, August 9. They got more votes than members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In the high-pitch battle, Pratapgarhi got the highest number of first preference votes — 53, followed by AA Rahim who got 49 first preference votes. As candidates require 42 votes in the first round to be declared victorious, both were declared victorious in the first round itself. BRS MPs had also reportedly voted for the I.N.D.I.A bloc candidates.

Four members are nominated from the Rajya Sabha to the AMU court, which is the supreme governing body of the University and exercises all the powers of the University, not otherwise provided for by the AMU Act and the regulations of the university.

Buoyed by the numbers they had garnered during the voting of the Delhi Ordinances Bill, BJP had nominated three MPs to the AMU court – Uttar Pradesh MP Kanta Kardam, hardline UP MP Harnath Singh Yadav and nominated RS MP from J&K Gulam Ali Khatana.

Yadav polled 37 votes followed by Kanta Kardam (35) and Ghulam Ali (34). In the next round of counting, Ali secured 39 votes and Yadav got 38 votes. In the second and third round of counting, Kardam did not get votes. Ali was the third candidate whom the BJP had fielded in the hope of defeating the I.N.D.I.A bloc nominations. However, he won with the highest votes among BJP candidates.

In the secret ballot which was held in room 63 of Parliament on Tuesday, from 11 am to 2 pm, only 210 Rajya Sabha MPs cast their votes. Two of the BJP's votes were also invalidated. Rajya Sabha has a current strength of 238 and there are seven vacancies. This win for the I.N.D.I.A bloc comes immediately after BJP had secured 131 votes in their favour during the passing of the Delhi services bill, while the Opposition had got 102 votes.  

Yadav had attempted to introduce the Wakf Repeal Bill in Rajya Sabha in July 2023 as a private member’s bill, but its introduction was opposed by CPI(M)’s Elamaram Kareem. In February 2023, Yadav wanted to introduce a private member’s bill to repeal the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.

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