Union Min Premchand Gupta, 4 Left nominees elected to RS

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New Delhi, Mar 26 (UNI) Union Minister and RJD candidate Premchand Gupta, four Left Front nominees and NDA candidates Dr C P Thakur, Shivanand Tiwari and N K Singh were elected to the Rajya Sabha in the biennial elections today.

Earlier, 30 candidates were elected unopposed to the Upper House on March 19.

LJP candidate Sabir Ali who secured his seat from Bihar with 40 votes was a new face in the Rajya Sabha besides Mr Tiwari and Mr Singh of the JD(U).

State Assembly Secretary-cum-Returning Officer Surendra Prasad Sharma said out of 243 MLAs, 235 exercised their franchise.

BJP's Dr Thakur polled the maximum votes followed by JD(U)'s Shivanand Tiwari and N K Singh, Prem Chand Gupta and Sabir Ali.

In the adjoining Bengal all the four Left nominees, including one newcomer, and an Independent candidate, supported by both the Left and Congress, were declared elected to the Rajya Sabha in the biennal poll held in the West Bengal Assembly today.

Independent candidate Ahmad Saeed Malihabadi defeated sitting Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Dinesh Trivedi by 17 votes in a straight fight, reducing the Party's strength to two.

Going by the strength of the Left in the state Assembly, the election of the first four candidates was a foregone conclusion leaving the interest alive in the number of votes Mr Malihabadi, the editor of an Urdu daily, could muster.

With votes ten short of the required number Mr Malihabadi shot to victory with the Congress, far short of the strength of putting up a candidate of its own, casting all its 20 votes in his favour.

Others to be elected to the Upper House are Shyamal Chakraborty (newcomer), and Prasanta Chatterjee and Tarini Roy (all CPI-M) and Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc), all of whom got elected to for the second time.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) retained Meghalaya's lone Rajya Sabha seat with its nominee Thomas A Sangma defeating former Congress Chief Minister Salseng C Marak by 32 to 28 votes.

With today's win, the NCP-backed MPA has bagged almost all the important available posts after it cobbled up a simple majority on March 19 to form the government.

The Congress, however, with its 25 legislators and three Independent MLAs failed miserably.

''I would try to raise some of the important issues pertaining to the state,'' a jubilant Mr Sangma told mediapersons after what the NCP general secretary Purno A Sangma called as a ''victory on expected lines''.

In Manipur, 52 of the 60 members have voted to elect the lone Rajya Sabha member with Rishang Keishing of the Congress and BD Behring of the Nationalist Peoples Party in the fray.

UNI team AKJ RK2016

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