Rajya Sabha polls: BJP, Congress, RJD, TRS, JD-U announce candidates

Voting to elect 58 members to the Rajya Sabha from different states will take place on March 23.

Rajya Sabha polls: BJP, Congress, RJD, TRS, JD-U announce candidates

New Delhi: Major political parties including BJP, Congress, RJD, TRS and JD-U on Sunday announce their candidates for the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha from nine states.

Voting to elect 58 members to the Rajya Sabha from different states will take place on March 23.

The last date for filing nominations is March 12. March 15 is the last date for withdrawal of candidature.

There are 10 vacancies from Uttar Pradesh, six each from Bihar and Maharashtra, five each from Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, four each from Gujarat and Karnataka, three each from Odisha, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, two from Jharkhand and one each from Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

BJP

The BJP today announced the names of 18 candidates, including former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane, for the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha from nine states.

The announcement came after the meeting of the BJP's Central Election Committee. 

BJP General Secretary Saroj Pandey will contest from Chhattisgarh, the party's Media Cell Convenor Anil Baluni from Uttarakhand, and Lt General DP Vats (retd) from Haryana. 

Independent Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar will be the BJP candidate from Karnataka. In case he wins, it will be his second term in the Rajya Sabha. Earlier, he was elected to the upper house as an Independent. 

The party has nominated tribal leader Sameer Uranv to contest the March 23 Rajya Sabha polls from Jharkhand. The highest number of seven candidates - Ashok Bhajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, GVL Narsimha Rao and Harnath Singh Yadav - will contest from Uttar Pradesh. 

Madan Lal Saini and Kirori Lal Meena have been fielded from Rajasthan while Narayan Rane and V. Muraleedharan (Kerala) will contest from Maharashtra. 

Ajay Pratap Singh and Kailash Soni will contest from Madhya Pradesh.

Congress

The Congress on Sunday announced names of 10 candidates for the biennial Rajya Sabha elections in seven states, including Abhishek Manu Singhvi from West Bengal and senior journalist Kumar Ketkar from Maharashtra.

Congress President approved the list for the the March 23 Rajya Sabha polls. 

Former Union Minister Naranbhai Rathwa, who represented Chhota Udaipur Lok Sabha constituency in Gujarat for the five terms, was nominated along with Congress leader and prominent lawyer Amee Yajnik from Gujarat.

Former Rajya Sabha member Dhiraj Prasad Sahu was nominated as Congress candidate from Jharkhand. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in June 2009 and was against re-elected in 2010. 

The party nominated three candidates from Karnataka, including Dalit poet L. Hanumanthaiah and Vokkalinga leader G.C. Chandrasekhar. The party opted for Syed Naseer Hussain as its third candidate. 

The ruling Congress in Karnataka can easily win two seats and meets few extra votes for the third seat. 

Former Minister and Congress leader Rajmani Patel will contest from Madhya Pradesh. Five Rajya Sabha members from Madhya Pradesh are completing their terms in April 2018. Congress spokesperson Satyavrat Chaturvedi, who is among the five retiring members, could not make to the list.

Ketkar has been nominated from Maharashtra and Porika Balram Naik from Telangana. 

The party has nominated senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi from West Bengal. Elections to the five Rajya Sabha seats has been necessiated as the terms of Kunal Ghosh, Bibek Gupta and Nadimul Haque of the Trinamool Congress and Tapan Sen of Communist Party of India-Marxist will end on April 2.

The TMC has already its four candidates and its leader Mamta Banerjee has openly said her party would support Singhvi in the Rajya Sabha polls. 

Janata Dal-United

The Janata Dal (United) JD(U) put forth the names of Mahendra Prasad Singh and Bashistha Narain Singh as the Rajya Sabha candidates. 

RJD

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) today named its national spokesman Manoj Jha and Ashfaque Karim, managing director of the Katihar Medical College and Hospital, as its candidates from Bihar for the upcoming Rajya Sabha biennial elections.

There are six vacancies in the Rajya Sabha from Bihar, polling for which will be held on March 23.

RJD's Bihar unit president Ram Chandra Purbey announced here at the party office that Jha, a Delhi University professor, and Karim would be the party's candidates for Rajya Sabha election.

Apart from the RJD, the BJP has announced the name of Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad as its candidate for the RS poll, whereas the JD(U), the BJP's ally, has not named its candidates for two seats.

Congress is yet to name its candidate. 

TRS 

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telangana on Sunday picked J Santosh Kumar, B Prakash Mudiraj and B Lingaiah Yadav for the biennial Rajya Sabha polls.

The decision was taken by Chief Minister K. Chandra Shekar Rao during a legislative meeting that was held in Telangana Bhavan.

J Santosh Kumar is the nephew of the Chief Minister, while the other two belong to the OBC community.

The TRS nominees won with the extended support from Asaduddin Owaisi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

The three will file their nomination papers on Monday.

TDP 

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) today re-nominated C M Ramesh, a businessman and party financier, and chose a surprise candidate, Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar, for elections to the two Rajya Sabha seats from Andhra Pradesh.

"As per the decision of our party supremo N Chandrababu Naidu, we are announcing the candidature of C M Ramesh and Ravindra Kumar for the Rajya Sabha election," state TDP president K Kala Venkata Rao said in a release.

Ramesh is currently a member of the Upper House representing neighbouring Telangana since the state bifurcation. A noted lawyer, Ravindra Kumar is head of the TDP's legal cell.

The YSR Congress chose businessman Vemireddy Prabhakar Reddy for the lone seat it could win and he has already filed his nomination.

On its strength in the Assembly, the TDP could win at least two seats. In all, three seats from the state will fall vacant on April 2 with the retirement of incumbents K Chiranjeevi, Renuka Chowdary and T Devender Goud.

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