RS Polls: Money sharks taste defeats


Photo credit Twitter D Kupendra Reddy

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, June 10: Money sharks often rub shoulders with the top-notch politicians of the country.

India is full of billionaires. But not all dine and party with those who run this country.

The club is restricted. Access to this coveted exclusivity opens many avenues. Business and politics make for intoxicating cocktails.

The Rajya Sabha over the decades has become the resting place for the moneybags. The political parties endorse their candidature for obvious gains. For such money sharks, the Rajya Sabha is their lounge that they flaunt in their business circles.

Subhash Chandra, called a media baron, is one such money shark, who threw his hat in the electoral arena of the Rajya Sabha elections from Rajasthan. His term as a Rajya Sabha MP is ending on August 1 from Haryana.

On the strength of the MLAs, the Congress was a clear winner for three Rajya Sabha seats and one would have gone to the BJP.

But the bagful of money often changes the outcome of the Rajya Sabha elections. The MLAs can be bought over, and the cross-voting is a norm. That is the way many industrialists entered the Rajya Sabha.

Chandra had previously tasted success in Haryana.

Now, he fancied repeating his success mantra in Rajasthan.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supported Chandra’s candidature as an independent candidate.

The Congress rushed party MLAs to a resort. The mainstream media bought the narrative of the BJP that the Congress had fielded outsiders and that had triggered unrest among the legislators. That the BJP was pragmatic and the party gave tickets on the basis of the caste equations was part of the narrative.

The Congress held the flock of the MLAs together and won all the three Rajya Sabha seats from Rajasthan while handing over defeat to Chandra.

Chandra in his first term as the Rajya Sabha MP was never seen taking part in any debate in the House. His contribution to the legislative business of the Upper House was zero. Yet, he was seeking another term.

The Congress closed the flanks and the party veteran Ashok Gehlot ensured smooth sailing for the three nominees of the party – Randeep Surjewala, Pramod Tiwari and Mukul Wasnik.

Ashok Gehlot can claim that after Ahmed Patel he knows that art of outsmarting the BJP in manoeuvring the Rajya Sabha elections.

In Karnataka, the JD (S) backed D Kupendra Reddy, with a declared asset of Rs 815 crores, was in the fray even while it was clear that on the basis of the strength of the legislators the BJP will win three seats and the Congress would get one. Reddy was obviously looking for the cross-voting from the ranks of the Congress and the BJP.

Neither the BJP MLAs nor the Congress legislators defied the whips of their respective party, which left Reddy also disappointed that the wealth can not always buy Rajya Sabha seats.

The defeats of Chandra in Rajasthan and Reddy in Karnataka saved Indian democracy from further embarrassments.

The Rajya Sabha election result in Haryana couldn’t be declared till midnight, because another money shark, the owner of the media house Kartikeya Sharma, is in the fray as an independent candidate and is backed by the BJP and the Jannayak Janata Party.

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