Jaipur: Voting for four biennial Rajya Sabha seats will be held Thursday at Rajasthan Legislative Assembly here.
Union Minister Anand Sharma and Ashaq Ali Tak, both Congress, legal luminary Ram Jethmalani and V P Singh, both of BJP, and businessman Santosh Bagrodia as an Independent are vying for the four RS berths from Rajasthan, chief returning officer and assembly secretary H R Kuri said today.
In the 200-seat House, the ruling Congress has 102 members, BJP (79), CPI-M (3), JD-U(1), Loktantrik Samajwadi Party (1) and SP (1). There are 13 Independents, of which ten support the Congress.
Polling will be held on printed ballot papers and MLAs of recognised political parties would have to show their votes to the agent appointed by the respective legislative wing,
While Independents MLAs would not have to disclose their vote to anyone, he said, adding it was compulsory under section 39 (AA) and the order of the Supreme Court.
The polling will start at 9 AM and the results will be out after the voting at 4 PM, he said.
Biennial polls for four Upper House seats were necessitated as the berths will be vacated after the completion of the term of Najma Heptuallah, Lalit Kishore Chaturvedi, Narendra Budhaniya and Bagdodiya.
CPI-M Legislative leader Amraram with three MLAs has already announced to abstain from voting as he termed both the Congress and the BJP as "anti-people and anti-labour."
Opposition BJP and JD-U`s lone MLA Fateh Singh have issued separate whip to their legislators asking them to vote to BJP candidates, state BJP President Arun Chaturvedi said.
67 BJP MLAs have been put up in a hotel where 87-year-old Jethmalani was interacting with the MLAs, seeking their votes.
Meanwhile, the Chief Whip of the Congress Legislative Party Virendra Beniwal said if required a whip could be issued to the members.
A CLP meeting would be convened later in the day at Gehlot`s residence and would be addressed by the senior party leaders, including Mukul Vasnik, AICC General Secretary and Union Minister C P Joshi, state PCC President and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Beniwal said.
The Congress has already announced that the party will support and vote for the Independent candidate Bagrodia in tomorrow`s poll, the chief whip said