BJP's SS Ahluwalia loses Jharkhand Rajya Sabha seat

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Ranchi, May 3: BJP leader SS Ahluwalia was today defeated in the Rajya Sabha elections in Jharkhand as Congress and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) candidates emerged victorious in the two seats for which the polling was held.

Ahluwalia finished third with 20 votes while Congress's Pradip Kumar Balmuchu secured 25 votes while JMM's Sanjeev Kumar bagged 23.

A total of 68 votes were polled in the 82-member state assembly. BJP is heading the ruling coalition in Jharkhand in partnership with JMM although both parties have 18 MLAs each. JMM had earlier asked BJP to withdraw its candidate in favour Sanjeev Kumar but the latter rejected the call.

Eleven members of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and the lone MLA of CPI(ML-Liberation) abstained from voting. There is a nominated member but the seat is vacant. Today's RS poll was rescheduled after it was countermanded on March 31 in the wake of allegations use of money power and horse-trading which the Election Commission said had "vitiated" the electoral process to the upper house in the state.

Rs 2.15 crore was seized from the car of a relative of an independent candidate RK Agarwal. Ahluwalia was denied nomination by BJP in the earlier round of Rajya Sabha elections when about 50 seats had been decided and he was fielded only after the countermanding of the poll in Jharkhand.

PTI

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