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RS polls in UP, Himachal, Karnataka amid cross-voting concerns


New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) The election for 15 Rajya Sabha seats across three states will be held on Tuesday amid concern about cross-voting.A total of 41 leaders for 56 seats have already been elected unopposed. Those elected included former Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi, BJP chief J.P. Nadda, former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Union Ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and L. Murugan.For 15 seats, elections will be held in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh.In Uttar Pradesh, 11 candidates are in the fray with the BJP and the SP having the numbers to send seven and three members respectively. But BJP’s Sanjay Seth as its eighth candidate has necessitated a keen contest. The BJP is said to be banking on surplus votes from the Rashtriya Lok Dal, which has aligned with the NDA.The BJP has fielded former Union Minister R.P.N. Singh, former MP Chaudhary Tejveer Singh, senior state leader Amarpal Maurya, former Minister Sangeeta Balwant (Bind), party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, former MLA Sadhna Singh and former Agra mayor Naveen Jain.The SP has fielded actor-MP Jaya Bachchan, retired IAS officer Alok Ranjan and Dalit leader Ramji Lal Suman.In Karnataka, the ruling Congress shifted its MLAs to a private hotel on Monday. There are four Rajya Sabha seats and five candidates. From the Congress, former Union Minister Ajay Maken, current Rajya Sabha MPs Syed Nasir Hussain and G.C. Chandrashekar are contesting. BJP’s former MLC Narayansa Bhandage is contesting and Kupendra Reddy is the BJP-JD(S) alliance candidate.In Himachal Pradesh, the BJP has forced a contest on the state’s single seat by fielding Harsh Mahajan against Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi. While the Congress has 40 MLAs to the BJP’s 25, the election will be seen as a prestige battle for Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu.–IANSdpb/

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