Rajya Sabha. Photograph:( WION )
As polling for Rajya Sabha continued on Friday afternoon, speculations on which lawmaker voted for which party started floating around with open declaration of few leaders of cross-voting many assumed, that Bharatiya Janata Party may end up with big gains, thanks to the cross-voting.
Counting of votes for Rajya Sabha elections begins after clearance from the Election Commission.
#UttarPradesh Counting of votes for Rajya Sabha elections begins after clearance from the Election Commission.— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 23, 2018
Earlier, Election Commission had not given permission to begin the counting of votes for Rajya Sabha election in Uttar Pradesh due to some objections in ballot papers, reports ANI.
Counting will begin only after EC gives clearance. In a complaint to Election Commission, BSP and SP have expressed fear of rigging during the polling and also alleged that Ballot paper was torn by BJP leader.
BSP MLA Anil Singh indicated that he had cross-voted in favour of the BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls, saying "I am with Maharaj-ji", referring to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
“I have voted for BJP, I don't know about the rest,” proclaimed Singh.
OP Rajbha, a minister in Yogi Adityanath's UP Cabinet, also confirmed the floating allegations of cross-voting. According to him, Nishad Party MLA Vijay Mishra and Singh were present in BJP's meeting with it's allies on Thursday.
Reports of cross-voting also emerged from Karnataka Rajya Sabha polls.
“Two senior Congress leaders cross-voted in the first ballot paper. Returning officer allowed them to vote again in fresh ballot paper. Illegal voting is going on, requested EC Observer to counter mandate the process,” said Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy.
Reports of Congress MLA Naresh Saini voting for a rival party has also emerged, though he thoroughly denied all allegations.
Samajwadi Party leader Rajendra Chaudhary, on the other hand, claimed that BJP MLAs are annoyed with their own high command.
After the Election Commission of India or ECI received a complaint by the All India Congress Committee over Jharkhand Vikas Morcha Prakash Ram, who cross- voted, the Commission said "further view will be taken after receiving Returning Officer's report".