BJP candidates M J Akbar and Anil Dave and Congress’ Vivek Tankha were elected to the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh, while an independent candidate backed by BJP was defeated. Senior journalist M J Akbar and state BJP leader and strategist Dave polled 58 votes each, while Tankha secured 62 votes--57 from Congress, four from BSP and one independent.
Third term in RS
Anil Madhav Dave, 59, BJP
Anil Madhav Dave is the first leader from BJP in Madhya Pradesh who has made it to the Rajya Sabha for a third consecutive term.
A RSS worker, who completed his post-graduation in commerce from Indore’s Gujarati College, Dave is known for his work for conservation of river Narmada through his NGO Narmada Samgra.
The intellectual face of the state’s ruling party, Dave has also flown over the Narmada, the fifth longest river in the Indian subcontinent, on a small plane and crossed it in a raft. He has authored several books.
The party’s strategist has always kept himself away from controversies in the party and the government. He has played a major role in the party during the assembly elections right from 2003. He was one of the main architects behind the World Hindi Conference held in the state capital September last year and the Vaicharik Mahakumbh (ideological conference) during Simhastha in Ujjain this year.
2nd time in the House
MJ Akbar, 65, BJP
Mobashar Jawad Akbar, a journalist-turned-politician, is one of the renowned names in Indian media industry who founded several newspapers and magazines in his career spanning more than four decades. He has travelled widely and has authored several books.
The national spokesperson of BJP, MJ Akbar, replaced Chandan Mitra, another journalist from Delhi in Rajya Sabha, who was earlier elected from Madhya Pradesh on BJP ticket.
Akbar’s journey in the saffron brigade is as interesting as his professional career in journalism. He was once close to the Congress and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and made it to the Lok Sabha after winning from Kishanganj in Bihar in 1989.
He faced defeat in 1991 general elections after which he quit politics in 1992 for a brief period. He joined the BJP in 2014 and made it to the Rajya Sabha on the BJP ticket from Jharkhand.
Third time lucky
Vivek Tankha, 60, Congress
Congress candidate Vivek Tankha proved third time lucky in the Rajya Sabha election overcoming several odds this time. A law graduate from Delhi University and resident of Jabalpur, Tankha is son of high court judge late RK Tankha, who was a former advocate general of Madhya Pradesh and former additional solicitor general at the Centre. Once close to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Vivek Tankha became one of the biggest critics of the BJP government after the Vyapam scam and fought for the Congress
complainants in the case. He contested the Rajya Sabha election in 2008 from Madhya Pradesh when then Samajwadi Party MLA Kishore Samreete created a sensation by calling police to his flat in the MLA rest house alleging that there was an attempt to give him Rs10 lakh to vote for Tankha. A police complaint was lodged. Tankha had dismissed the charges and said he would file a defamation suit against Samareete. He fought Lok Sabha election from his home town Jabalpur in 2014 on a Congress ticket but faced defeat.