Nominations for RS polls close, contest on cards in UP, Haryana

As nominations for Rajya Sabha biennial polls closed today, a contest is on the cards in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana even as Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram are among those set to be elected to the Upper House.

Rajya Sabha Jharkhand, Jharkhand assembly, CPI-ML, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Rajya Sabha
Yadav told IANS that although it does not have the required numbers, the Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded two candidates in the Rajya Sabha polls. (Reuters)

As nominations for Rajya Sabha biennial polls closed today, a contest is on the cards in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana even as Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram are among those set to be elected to the Upper House.

The polls took an interesting turn in UP with Independent candidate Preeti Mahapatra, a social worker, filing her papers before the end of the deadline. With this, there are 12 candidates for 11 vacancies that will entail voting.

Several BJP MLAs, members of small parties and independents are backing Mahapatra.

Seven candidates of SP and two of BSP, including national general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal and BJP’s Shiv Pratap Shukla are others who are in the fray.

In 403-member UP Assembly ruling SP has 229 MLAs, BSP 80, BJP 41, Congress 29, besides some smaller parties and Independents. Each candidate requires 37 votes for a win.

Several candidates filed their papers before the deadline ended and they included Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who has been assured ally TDP’s support from Andhra Pradesh, media baron Subhash Chandra and noted lawyer R K Anand, both from Haryana as Independent candidates and BJP leader M J Akbar from Madhya Pradesh.

In Maharashtra, all the six candidates including Chidambaram, who filed his papers today, and Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal are set to be elected as there are as many vacancies from the state. The others are Praful Patel (NCP), BJP’s Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Vikas Mahatme and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut.

Elections for 57 seats in the Upper House from 15 states are due to be held on June 11. Scrutiny of nominations will take place on June 1 and the last date for withdrawal is June 3.

In Haryana, Chandra claimed to have garnered support from the ruling BJP and some MLAs cutting across party lines for the second seat in the state while main opposition Indian National Lok Dal backed Anand, who has also fought Lok Sabha polls in the past as the party candidate. However, Anand at present is not a member of INLD, a party leader said.

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