Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls: BJP has numbers to re-elect only two ministers

Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls: BJP has numbers to re-elect only two ministers”

The Election Commission (EC) on Friday announced elections to 58 Rajya Sabha seats due to retirements and another seat on a casual vacancy, to be held on 23 March.

He said, "The ball is in the Congress court on whether they want an additional seat in the Rajya Sabha or keep the window open for a JD (S) alliance in the event of a hung assembly."The JD (S) unsuccessfully fielded Farook in 2016, when he was defeated after eight JD (S) MLAs cross-voted to elect MP K C Ramamurthy of the Congress".

The BJP leader quoted above argued that while the party has been the single-largest in Rajya Sabha since August a year ago, many important bills, including one to ban instant triple talaq and another to provide constitutional status to the other backward classes commission have not been cleared by the Upper House.

Eight national office-bearers of the party are already members of Parliament starting with party president Amit Shah and three vice-presidents Prabhat Jha, Om Mathur and Vinay Sahastrabuddhe in the Rajya Sabha and three secretaries Jyoti Dhruve, Raman Deka and Mahesh Girri in the Lok Sabha. "We will formally announce our plan soon", a politburo member of the TDP said. Opposition unity in the Upper House could face a blow with Samajwadi Party losing a massive share from Uttar Pradesh. The party is also expected to lose one seat in Bihar but that won't be such a shock considering its alliance partner JD (U) could win the remaining seats.

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Six of them are up for grabs in Bihar, pitting the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Opposition Grand Alliance against each other and their constituents among themselves. He added that though it was for the party high command to take a call on the candidature, chances are Pradhan, who originally hails from Odisha but became a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar, may eventually be shifted to UP. "Talk of fielding a third candidate is speculation".

Terms of four BJP candidates - Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, minister of state for agriculture Parshottam Rupala, minister of state for chemicals Mansukh Mandaviya and Shankar Vegad - are getting over in March. Maharaj was one of a Chief Ministerial candidate in the prelude the assembly elections held past year and it is believed that he was made to join the state cabinet led by Trivendra Singh Rawat by the central leaders on promise of some incentive in future.

Notification for the Rajya Sabha polls will be issued on March 5 and the last date for filing nominations is March 12. The JDU's strength will dip, as it won't be able to retain the four seats that belonged to it.

Chief N Raghuveera Reddy wrote a letter to Chandrababu Naidu and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy asking them to be away from the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections. "It will be relatively easier for BJP to collaborate with other political parties and it may sober the opposition parties", said N. Bhaskara Rao, a New Delhi-based political analyst.

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