After an eight-hour delay in the counting of votes and allegations of cross-voting, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured three of Maharashtra's six Rajya Sabha seats, while the parties of the ruling alliance – Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and the Congress – secured one seat each.
The BJP's winners include Union minister Piyush Goyal, former Kolhapur MP Dhananjay Mahadik, and ex-state minister Anil Bonde.
The Congress' Imran Pratapgarhi, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, and Praful Patel from the NCP also won the elections in the state.
Goyal secured 48 of the 284 valid votes, as did Bonde. Mahadik followed with 41.56 votes, Raut with 41, and Pratapgarhi and Patel polled 44 and 43 votes each.
Former CM Devendra Fadnavis took to Twitter to congratulate his fellow party members for their victory.
Complaints of Cross-Voting From Both Sides
Both the BJP and Shiv Sena approached the Election Commission with complaints of cross-voting, seeking disqualification of some votes as the former questioned the validity of votes cast by three MLAs of the Maha Vikas Aghadi, which also made a case to disqualify votes cast by one independent candidate and one BJP MLA.
The polling panel issued directions to reject the vote cast by Shiv Sena's Suhas Kande to the Rajya Sabha election returning officer, after which counting commenced.
The Congress admitted to gaps in coordination in the ruling alliance, with Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat saying that what went wrong would be a matter to study.
“The BJP was cunning in holding up the counting and getting one vote invalid. We were confident that all four of our candidates will win comfortably,” the Congress leader told news agency PTI.
The NCP's Praful Patel thanked his supporters and well-wishers in a tweet, expressing his "heartfelt gratitude to Hon'ble Pawar Saheb and NCP" for entrusting him with the responsibility.
“I am deeply humbled by your support, and I want to assure you that I will continue to work day and night to make sure that your concerns and of my Maharashtra state are heard and addressed,” he said.
Speaking to reporters in Pune, NCP chief Sharad Pawar credited Fadnavis for the "miracle" of the BJP winning three of six seats, saying that he "managed to get the Independents on their side...which made all the difference," adding that it would not affect the MVA government's stability.
"The result doesn't surprise me. The Congress, Shiv Sena, NCP have been voted as per the quota, except Praful Patel who has received an extra vote," Pawar was quoted as saying by ANI.
MP Sanjay Raut, however, held the poll panel responsible for the defeat of the Shiv Sena's Sanjay Pawar's – the fourth MVA candidate.
“Election Commission made our one vote invalid. We objected to two votes but no action was taken on that demand. Election Commission favoured them,” Raut said.
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