Rebellion by Congress MLAs in Haryana today helped BJP-backed Independent candidate Subhash Chandra score an upset victory as Congress stalwart Kapil Sibal pulled it off in Uttar Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha polls in which union ministers M Venkaiah Naidu, Birender Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman and M A Naqvi won comfortably.
Senior Congress leaders Oscar Fernandes and Jairam Ramesh were elected from Karnataka where cross-voting by rebel JD(S) MLAs enabled ruling Congress gain a third seat. Former IPS officer K C Ramamurthy won the seat defeating JD(S)-backed Independent candidate B M Farooq, a businessman, in the third seat.
The major jolt for Congress came in Haryana where the party suffered through apparent deliberate wrong marking of the ballots by its 14 MLAs that led to the defeat of the party-backed Independent candidate R K Anand who was mainly fielded by its arch rival INLD.
Subhash Chandra, a media baron, defeated Anand, a senior lawyer and a former MP, after 14 votes of Congress were rejected, state Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma told the media in Chandigarh.
Even before the elections, there was speculation that the overwhelming majority of the 17 Congress MLAs, owing allegiance to former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, would not toe the party line on supporting Anand.