Ranchi, July 2: BJP leader M.J. Akbar was on Thursday elected to the Rajya Sabha in a by-poll from Jharkhand, Assembly secretary-cum-returning officer Sushil Kumar Singh announced the result on Thursday evening.
At 9 am in the morning Minister Saryu Rai casted the first vote. 81 members Assembly has one seat vacant after court pronounced Kamal Kishore Bhagat guilty and his membership was scratched. Two other MLAs Bhanu Pratap Shahi and Anos Ekka and behind the bars this was the reason only 78 MLAs casted their vote. Minister Chandraprakash Choudhary’s vote was cancelled.
Akbar defeated Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) candidate Haji Hussain Ansari by a margin of 19 votes.
In the 81-member assembly with one vacancy, two Independent legislators – Bhanu Pratap Shahi and Enos Ekka – lodged in jails were denied permission by a court to cast their votes.
Also, the vote of BJP ally All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) legislator and Jharkhand Water Resources Minister Chandraprakash Chowdhary was cancelled.
Akbar got 48 votes and his rival got 29 votes, said Sushil Kumar Singh, electoral officer for the by-poll and secretary in-charge for Jharkhand assembly.
Akbar got the votes of 43 BJP legislators, and three of the AJSU. Geeta Koda, the wife of former chief minister Madhu Koda, and Bahujan Samaj Party’s lone legislator Kushwaha Shivpujan Mehta also voted in favour of Akbar.
JMM candidate Ansari got 19 votes of his party legislators, alongwith six of the Congress and two of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik). He also got one vote each from the Marxist Coordination Committee and the CPI-Marxist-Leninist.
After the result was announced BJP and AJSU Party MLAs congratulated Akbar and also distributed sweets. After the winning the bypolls, Akbar said that he will work for Jharkhand as this state has tremendous opportunities.
The by-poll took place following resignation of K.D. Singh, who was earlier elected to the Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand. Later in 2014, he was elected to the upper house on Trinamool Congress ticket from West Bengal.
The tenure of Akbar’s seat will be till July 2016.