Rajya Sabha polls: Nomination filing window ends, many set to get elected unopposed on Feb 27 

Nominations for the Rajya Sabha polls have ended today and many candidates are expected to win without competition. Among those contesting are BJP leader J P Nadda, newcomer to the party Ashok Chavan, and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The elections will be held on February 27 for 56 seats across various states including 10 in Uttar Pradesh, six each in Maharashtra and Bihar, five each in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, four each in Gujarat and Karnataka, three each in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Odisha, and one each in Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
However, most candidates are likely to get elected without facing opponents. The deadline for withdrawing candidature is February 20. Voting will occur from 9 am to 4 pm on February 27, with the counting starting at 5 pm on the same day.
In Uttar Pradesh, eight BJP candidates have filed nominations – former Union minister R P N Singh, former MP Chaudhary Tejveer Singh, state party general secretary Amarpal Maurya, former state minister Sangeeta Balwant, party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, former MLA Sadhna Singh, former Agra mayor Naveen Jain and local industrialist and former SP leader Sanjay Seth who joined the BJP in 2019.
The Samajwadi Party (SP) has renominated Jaya Bachchan and also announced the candidature of former MP Ramjilal Suman and retired IAS officer Alok Ranjan. Sonia Gandhi, who filed her nomination for the Rajya Sabha seat from Rajasthan, Thursday informed voters of her Rae Bareli constituency in Uttar Pradesh that she is not contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha polls due to health and age issues.BJP’s Chunnilal Garasiya and Madan Rathore filed their nomination Thursday for the other two seats in the state.
From Maharashtra, the BJP has fielded Chavan, who joined the party only Tuesday after quitting the Congress, Medha Kulkarni and Ajit Gopchhade. The Shiv Sena has nominated Milind Deora, who also resigned from the Congress last month. The Congress has put up Chandrakant Handore and the NCP Praful Patel.
The NDA’s current strength in the Upper House of Parliament stands at 114, including 93 of the BJP. The Congress has 30 seats, the second highest. While 50 members will retire on April 2, six will do so on April 3.
Among the members whose tenure is ending include former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Bhupendra Yadav, Mansukh Mandaviya and V Muraleedharan, and BJP’s Anil Baluni and Sushil Kumar Modi.
Many senior BJP leaders and outgoing Rajya Sabha MPs, including seven Union ministers such as Dharmendra Pradhan and Bhupender Yadav, have not been renominated by the party for the biennial Rajya Sabha polls amid strong indications that several of them may contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP repeated Union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and L Murugan as Rajya Sabha candidates from Odisha and Madhya Pradesh respectively. Among the 28 outgoing MPs, the BJP has renominated only four – Nadda, the two Union ministers and national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi.
Vaishnaw was elected in 2019 to the Upper House of Parliament with the backing of the BJD and the ruling party in Odisha on Wednesday again extended support to him. Former Union minister Ajay Maken, who had unsuccessfully contested the Rajya Sabha election from Haryana last year, has now been fielded by the Congress from the party-ruled Karnataka.
In West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress candidates are Sagarika Ghose, Sushmita Dev, Mohammad Nadimul Haque and Mamta Bala Thakur while the BJP has fielded Samik Bhattacharya.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi of Congress filed his nomination for the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Himachal Pradesh Thursday. Former Union minister Renuka Chowdhury will return to Rajya Sabha from Telangana after a gap. Chowdhury (69) has been a member of the Lok Sabha for two terms as well as the Rajya Sabha for three terms.M Anil Kumar Yadav has also been fielded from the southern state where the party came into power in December.
Congress also renominated Syed Naseer Hussain, who is a coordinator in the office of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge. This will be Hussain’s second term as a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka.
The party has also renominated its Bihar unit chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh from the state. The Rashtriya Janata Dal announced that Manoj Kumar Jha and Sanjay Yadav will be the party’s candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections in Bihar.
From Madhya Pradesh, apart from Murugan, the BJP has fielded Dalit seer Umesh Nath Maharaj, backward-class woman leader Maya Naroliya and farmer leader Banshilal Gurjar.
The Congress nominated its state party unit treasurer Ashok Singh who filed his nomination papers in Patna.JD(U)’s Sanjay Kumar Jha and BJP’s Bhim Singh and Dharamsheela Gupta filed their papers in the presence of top NDA leaders from the state including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Samrat Choudhary.
Congress leader from Karnataka G C Chandrasekhar has been renominated by the party.BJP’s Devendra Pratap Singh filed nomination papers for the only Rajya Sabha seat from Chhattisgarh.
In Gujarat, the BJP dropped Union ministers Parshottam Rupala and Mandaviya who had won the 2018 election from the state and are likely to be fielded for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Besides Nadda, who filed his nomination papers Thursday, the party has fielded its leaders Jashvantsinh Parmar and Mayank Nayak and diamond baron Govind Dholakia.
With inputs from PTI.

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