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Congress wins 3 Rajya Sabha seats in Rajasthan: Gehlot

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Jaipur: The ruling Congress on Friday won three of the four Rajya Sabha seats in Rajasthan, overcoming the challenge posed by BJP-backed independent candidate Subhash Chandra, according to the party.

The BJP got the fourth seat. Its candidate and former minister Ghanshyam Tiwari said he had also won, polling 43 votes.

Congress candidates Randeep Surjewala, Mukul Wasnik and Pramod Tiwari were elected to the Rajya Sabha, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced.

Gehlot pointed out he had earlier said that Congress candidates would win.

The chief minister also thanked BJP MLA Shobharani Kushwah for cross-voting in favour of Congress candidate Pramod Tiwari. The BJP has suspended Kushwah from the party’s primary membership.

“When everybody knows that 126 MLAs are with us, why did they field an independent candidate? They wanted to attempt horse-trading but that did not happen,” Gehlot told reporters at the assembly building.

He came out of the assembly with the newly elected Congress MPs, flashing a victory sign.

“I believe all the three leaders will raise issues of Rajasthan, particularly the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) which will solve the water problem in 13 districts,” the chief minister said.

The victory of the Congress candidates has given a strong message in the country, he said, adding that the party would retain power in the assembly elections next year.

Newly elected Rajya Sabha MP Randeep Surjewala said it was a victory of truth.

“The Congress got a total of 127 votes. One vote was rejected because of a minor thing,” he added.

Pramod Tiwari said the magic of Chief Minister Gehlot worked for the Congress.

Earlier, in a tweet, Gehlot congratulated all three Congress candidates for winning the Rajya Sabha elections.

“Congress’ victory on three Rajya Sabha seats in Rajasthan is a victory of democracy. I congratulate all the three newly elected MPs Shri Pramod Tiwari, Shri Mukul Wasnik and Shri Randeep Surjewala. I am sure that all the three MPs will be able to strongly advocate the rights of Rajasthan in Delhi,” Gehlot tweeted.

He briefed the media along with the newly elected Congress MPs outside the assembly building.

Before them, BJP candidate Ghanshyam Tiwari and other leaders of the party announced his victory in one seat.

“I am thankful to the state and the central leadership for making me the candidate. I got 43 votes,” Tiwari said.

The statements came before the official announcement of the results.

All 200 Rajasthan MLAs had cast their votes for the Rajya Sabha elections by Friday afternoon.

In the House, the Congress has 108 MLAs, BJP 71, Independents 13, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) three, and the CPI(M) and the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) two each.

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