Manmohan Singh re-elected to Rajya Sabha

Guwahati, May 30 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha Thursday from Assam for the fifth straight term, officials said.

Another Congress candidate, Santiuse Kujur, also got elected to the upper house -- for the first time.

There were three candidates for the two Rajya Sabha seats from Assam: Manmohan Singh, Kujur and Aminul Islam of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF).

"I am very happy I got the support of all my colleagues. I thank all Congress members for my victory," Kujur said.

Kujur said a total of 112 votes were cast in the polls. "While Manmohan Singh received 49 votes, I got 45 votes," he said, adding that Islam got only 18 votes.

The AGP and BJP, who have nine and five legislators respectively in the present assembly, abstained from voting. After the decision of the AGP and BJP, the Congress needed only 38 votes each to win two seats.

The present term of Manmohan Singh and another Rajya Sabha member, AGP's Kumar Deepak Das, will expire June 14.

Manmohan Singh had May 15 filed his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha election.

The prime minister has represented Assam in the upper house since 1991. Former Assam chief minister Hiteswar Saikia offered him a Rajya Sabha seat from Assam after he became the finance minister in 1991.

Saikia also made him a tenant in his house, at Sarumotoria locality in Guwahati.

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