Joginapally Santhosh Kumar, the 41-year-old nephew and political aide of Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, has been elected to the Rajya Sabha on Friday. Santosh along with two other TRS candidates, Badugula Lingaiah Yadav and Banda Prakash Mudiraj, were elected in a secret ballot that saw Congress candidate Porika Balaram Naik defeated.

Santosh was made TRS general secretary six months ago. He is the son of the CM’s wife Shobha’s sister.. Yadav got the votes of 33 MLAs, followed by Santosh and Mudiraj who got 32 votes each, while Naik bagged only 10 votes of his party. Of the 119 seats strong Assembly, the TRS has 90 MLAs including some who defected from other parties. MIM’s seven members too supported the TRS while BJP with five MLAs and TDP with two and CPM with one MLA abstained from voting. Congress has 13 MLAs in the Assembly, but two of them were disqualified from the House last week following a ruckus in the joint session of the legislature addressed by the Governor. The two MLAs, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and Sampath Kumar, unsuccessfully approached the Election Commission on Wednesday to seek its permission to vote.

After the election, the TRS strength in the Rajya Sabha will be six and its total MPs in Parliament will be 20 (14 from Lok Sabha).

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