Voting for five Rajya Sabha seats in West Bengal ends

Parties to protest for Special Category Status on March 25

While all of them were elected uncontested, Congress nominee for Rajya Sabha Abhishek Manu Singhvi who was supported by Trinamul Congress defeated the Left Front candidate in the fifth seat.

Singhvi went with leader of the Opposition, the Congress's Abdul Mannan, to chief minister Mamata Banerjee and thanked her party for supporting his candidature, which ensured his victory over the CPM's Rabin Deb.

Of the 294 MLAs of the assembly, 288 had cast their votes.

While Shubashish Chakrabarty of the TMC got 54 votes, Nadumul Haque from the same party bagged 52 votes. If found to be indulging in foul play severe disciplinary action will be taken against them, " a senior TMC leader said.

It will be the second term for Nadimul Haque in the upper house. Votes of two TMC MLAs - Mrigen Maiti and Zakir Hossain - were cancelled owing to technical errors while three BJP MLAs refrained from voting. Earlier, the Opposition parties moved the poll panel against two MLAs who are believed to have cross-voted.

Congress leader and celebrated lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhi got 47 votes in the assembly where his has party has 32 legislators. "We have also asked the legislators who have crossed over to our side from Congress to vote for Singhvi", he said.

The election result on Friday has set political speculations afoot that the equation in Bengal politics will change with the Congress coming close to the TMC while the rift between the Congress and CPI (M) will grow as they had pitched candidates against each other for the seat.

BJP national general secretary Saroj Pandey won the lone Rajya Sabha seat for which polling was held in Chhattisgarh today, defeating Congress rival Lekhram Sahu.



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