Saturday saw a complete shenanigan within the Congress ranks and its Haryana leaders presented a very sorry picture of the party.
14 of its votes were declared invalid resulting in the shock victory of Zee News owner Subhash Chandra.
Chandra may have been backed by the BJP, but the results show that the saffron party had actually everything it could to ensure Chandra’s defeat. It was, as indicated by voting pattern, the Congress which secured the Zee News’ chairman’s election to Rajya Sabha and not the BJP.
Here’s how it happened.
Final result was announced after counting was completed both of first preference and second preference votes. According to the final tally, Congress-backed R K Anand received 21 votes and Chandra got 29 votes (after 14 excess votes that the BJP candidate Virender singh polled were transferred to Chandra as second preference).
The original victory target was 31 but it was reduced to 26 after disqualification of 14 votes of Congress.
Virender Singh manged to get his 14 votes transferred to Chandra as he secured 40 votes and those who voted for Virender Singh as first preference had Chandra as their second preference. It meant that any vote that Virender Singh got after securing 26 vote was transferred to Chandra as the former secured his victory with just 26 votes. All his additional votes were transferred to Chandra because none of the other two candidates were able to reach the target of 26 in the first round.
It is pertinent to mention that BJP polled 40 votes for Virender singh whereas votes required to win were 31. BJP was worried that some of its MLAs (particulary non Jat) wouldn’t vote for Virender Singh because of recent Jat agitation and would instead vote for Chandra as their first preference.
BJP had effectively dumped Chandra by casting so many first preferential votes for Virender Singh. It was the Congress that through deliberate cancellation of its 14 votes ensured Chandra simply walked away with a victory when there was none for him. That’s because R K Anand needed just 5 votes and he had 14 at his disposal but all got cancelled because of the foul play by local Congress leaders.
Voting in Rajya Sabha election is by single transferable vote through what’s known as the proportional representation system and not the first past the post system used in other elections.
In proportional representation system, any excess votes gained by winner are transferred to candidate who was the second preference the voters.
Results of First Preference are :
1. Virender singh 40
2. R K Anand 21
3. Subhash Chandra 15
Cancelled votes 14
Since the victory target was 31, RK Anand would have won without any fuss had the 14 votes of Congress, which were declared invalid gone to him. It would have taken Anand’s tally to 35.
The author is a Supreme Court lawyer. Views expressed here are the author’s own.