Polling for Rajya Sabha elections progressing

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Bhopal, Mar 28 (UNI) Polling for the biennial election to fill up three Rajya Sabha seats from Madhya Pradesh began in the Vidhan Sabha premises here this morning.

Vidhan Sabha Speaker Ishwardas Rohani was the first to exercise his franchise followed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who remained present at the scene for one-and-half hours. Most BJP legislators cast their vote together.

Seven of eight SP legislators reached the Vidhan Sabha to cast their votes together. This included Mr Kishor Samrite, who had levelled bribery allegations against the Congress.

BJP MLA Anchal Sonkar reached to exercise his franchise on wheel chair.

Three BJP candidates -- Ms Maya Singh, Mr Prabhat Jha and Mr Raghunandan Sharma -- and one Congress-supported independent candidate Vivek Tankha are in the fray to fill up the three seats.

The biennial elections were necessitated as the tenure of three Rajya Sabha members from Madhya Pradesh Mr Suresh Pachouri, Mr Obaidullah Azmi (both Congress) and Ms Maya Singh (BJP) is ending in April.

In a House of 231, including a nominated member, besides the BJP (166) and Congress (41), the Samajwadi Party has eight MLAs, Gondwana Gantantra Party three, Rashtriya Samata Dal two, Bahujan Samaj Party two, Nationalist Congress Party one, Janata Dal (U) one, CPI (M) one, and Independents two UNI AG-PS 1238

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