TN New Delhi, June 1 (PTI) Independent candidates forced a contest in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana while senior Congress leaders P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and all AIADMK and DMK nominees are set to be elected unopposed after scrutiny of nominations for the June 11 Rajya Sabha elections across 15 states today. The papers of all key candidates were found valid while those of eight independents–seven in Tamil Nadu and one in Karnataka-were rejected. The stage is set for a contest in Uttar Pradesh and in Haryana while Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Chidambaram are among those who are set to be elected to the Upper House unopposed. The battle in UP is inevitable unless two candidates, including independent Preeti Mahapatra, a social worker, withdraw their nominations by June 3. There are 12 candidates for 11 vacancies that will entail voting. Several BJP MLAs, members of small parties and independents are backing Mahapatra. Seven candidates of SP and two of BSP, including national general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal and BJPs Shiv Pratap Shukla are others who are in the fray. In 403-member UP Assembly ruling SP has 229 MLAs, BSP 80, BJP 41, Congress 29, besides some smaller parties and Independents. Each candidate requires 37 votes for a win. In Haryana, the presence of media baron Subhash Chandra and R K Anand has sparked a contest. While Chandra claimed to have garnered the backing of the states ruling BJP and some MLAs cutting across party lines for the second seat in the state main opposition Indian National Lok Dal supported Anand. By contrast, in Tamil Nadu, nomination papers of seven independents paving the way for election of six nominees, four from ruling AIADMK and two belonging to DMK, unopposed to the Rajya Sabha. Nomination papers of R Vaithilingam, A Navaneethakrishnan, A Vijayakumar, former Union Minister SR Balasubramoniyan (all AIADMK), and those of RS Bharathi and TKS Elangovan (DMK) were valid. With the election of four MPs, the strength of ruling AIADMK will go up to 12 from the present 11 in Rajya Sabha. There will be no change in the number of DMK MPs which will continue to be four. From Tamil Nadu, Congress Party will have no representation in the Upper House. In Maharashtra, papers of all the six candidates, including Chidambaram and Piyush Goyal were found valid, and they are set to be elected unopposed as there are as many vacancies from the state. The others are Praful Patel (NCP), BJPs Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Vikas Mahatme and Shiv Senas Sanjay Raut. In Karnataka, an independent candidates nomination was rejected during scrutiny for not enclosingproposers names and an additional affidavit, but the papers of three Congress candidates, including former unionministers Jairam Ramesh, Oscar Fernandes, were found valid as was that of union minister Nirmala Seetharaman. Congress decision to field third candidate, Ramamurthy, has given anxious moments to JD-S which needs five additional votes to see its candidate through, as it has 40 members. PTI TEAM PALadvertisement
Libertarian Billy Toien, Democrat Mark Begich and independent Gov. Bill Walker receive audience applause at the end of the Get Out the Native Vote candidate forum on Tuesday in Juneau. The microphone on the right is for Republican Mike Dunleavy, who didn’t attend. (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/KTOO and Alaska Public Media)Independent Gov. Bill Walker and Democratic candidate for governor Mark Begich answered a question Tuesday about how they’re competing for the same voters. The exchange occurred at the Get Out the Native Vote forum for candidates for governor in Juneau.Listen nowJuneau Rep. Sam Kito III read the question from a member of the audience. Republican candidate Mike Dunleavy wasn’t there.“Please address the fact that there are two candidate vying for the same pool of votes,” Kito read. “Has a compromise been discussed to ensure that no-show Dunleavy does not win by default of vote splitting? And I’m just reading a question provided by the audience.”Begich, a former U.S. senator, said the candidates must earn every vote. He said the voters will have a choice about who can win and who has the best plan of action for the state.“What’s so great about election is you – it’s in your hands,” Begich said. “It’s not in ours. It’s in yours. I think whoever gets to 38 or so percent wins this race.”Walker said he built a cabinet that drew from the entire state because he didn’t discriminate based on partisan affiliation. He said the cabinet spent the first term addressing the state’s budget crisis.“You know we have wrestled with the fiscal issue, but we wrestled it to the ground,” Walker said. “We stayed here; we didn’t quit. We showed up and we did the hard work.”Walker said he’s angry that Dunleavy didn’t attend.“That’s very disrespectful,” Walker said. “Neither he nor his lieutenant governor (candidate Kevin Meyer) had the courtesy of attending today. I’m embarrassed as an Alaskan that we have somebody running for this office who will not show up in this room.”Asked for a reaction, Dunleavy emailed a statement:“Bill Walker should be more embarrassed by his failed record of a weak economy, vetoed PFDs, and skyrocketing crime than by my campaign schedule.I lived in rural Alaska for 19 years with Alaska Native people. It’s where I met my wife, Rose, of 31 years and where our three daughters were born.From a horrific public safety record, to dismal educational outcomes, to low employment and the theft of PFDs, Bill Walker has failed rural Alaska.”Dunleavy’s campaign said he had multiple meetings in Anchorage Tuesday.Libertarian candidate Billy Toien slapped his campaign bumper sticker over Dunleavy’s nameplate. Toien, a hotel concierge, said he doesn’t have a problem with vote splitting.“I think it’s all about voting your conscience,” Toein said. “It isn’t about who is or isn’t running. Win, lose or draw, if everybody decided to throw their vote away by voting for me, I would win.”Dunleavy did attend a candidate forum at the Anchorage Aviation Museum on Monday.