A number of political, legal and business heavyweights made their way to the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, having won elections on party nominations from five States where there was a contest for 18 seats.
Of the 49 vacancies in Rajya Sabha, 21 candidates had earlier been elected unopposed.
All eyes, however, were on Rajasthan and Karnataka, from where Jethmalani and Mallya were BJP nominees. Mallya achieved a coup of sorts by managing the support of arch-rivals Deve Gowda and BS Yeddyurappa.
The victories of Jethmalani and Mallya along with those of senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu from Karnataka and Rajiv Pratap Rudy from Bihar were sealed by cross-voting. Union commerce minister Anand Sharma was among the four victorious candidates from Rajasthan. Of the four, two elected nominees were Ashk Ali Tak (Congress) and VP Singh (BJP).
The winners from Bihar were Paswan, Rudy, Ram Kripal Yadav of RJD and RP Singh of Janata Dal-U. Victory came as a great relief to Paswan, as he had been desperately trying to enter parliament ever since his defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.
In Karnataka, the day belonged to Mallya as he succeeded in bringing together Deve Gowda and the state chief minister BS Yeddyurappa to ensure smooth sailing. Both BJP and JD-S had fallen apart after Deve Gowda allegedly torpedoed the BJP’s attempt to form a coalition government with his party’s support.Naidu and Ayanur Maruthi (both BJP) and Oscar Fernandes (Congress) also made it to the Upper House from the state.