Bharatiya Janata Party has released a list of eight candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections. From the saffron party, key leaders like Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar will contest polls for the Upper House this time. Jaitley, who is currently a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat, has got a ticket from Uttar Pradesh this time. While Pradhan and Javadekar will contest polls from Gujarat this time.
Currently, Pradhan is an Upper House member from Bihar, while Javadekar is an MP from Madhya Pradesh. Interestingly, no MP, apart from Jaitley, Pradhan and Javadekar, has been shifted from his/her state. Other bigwigs in the fray will be Social Justice Minister Thawarchand Gehlot, Health Minister J P Nadda, Union Ministers Parshottam Rupala and Manusukh Mandaviya.
Gehlot and Nadda will contest from their respective states of Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. Rupala and Mandaviya will contest from Gujarat.
BJP is likely to make big gains owing to its impressive electoral performance in Assembly Elections in last two years. A total number of 58 Rajya Sabha seats are falling vacant. The elections will see 10 MPs getting elected from Uttar Pradesh, six each from Maharashtra and Bihar, five each from West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, four each from Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, three each from Odisha and Rajasthan, two from Jharkhand, while one each from Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal and Uttarakhand.
Currently, the saffron party has 58 seats in 239-member house. The party is expected to raise its tally to 82 seats after the upcoming polls.
Meanwhile, in a related development, Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party has decided to nominate Jaya Bachchan for Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh. Yadav’s decision to nominate Bachchan over senior leader Naresh Aggarwal left many people surprised. Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress is expected to announce its five candidates from West Bengal soon.