New Delhi: Deputy Speaker of Rajya Sabha Harivansh, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, BJP’s new recruit Jyotiraditya Scindia and Congress veteran Digvijay Singh are in the fray for the election of 55 Rajya Sabha seats to be held on March 26. To be elected unopposed
Friday was the last date for filing nominations for the biennial elections. Due to the retirement of the members sitting in one of these 55 seats in 17 states, the seats are getting vacant on different dates in April, while four other seats are already vacant due to the resignation of the members.
Bypass will also be held in Haryana’s Rajya Sabha seat vacated by former Union Minister Birendra Singh.
The counting of votes will take place on the evening of 26 March, one hour after the conclusion of the voting.
There is a fierce battle over the card in Madhya Pradesh, where the Kamal Nath government is facing a grim future after a revolt by at least 22 MLAs, as both BJP and Congress fielded two candidates for three seats in the state Has announced.
Scindia and Digvijay Singh hope to win comfortably in the election. BJP’s Sumer Singh Solanki and Congress’s Phool Singh Baraiya are likely to go to the third seat.
Both parties are comfortably placed to ensure the victory of one of their candidates, and while the Congress has an edge for the third seat, its 22 MLAs’ decision to resign from the state assembly kept the numbers game intact is.
Most of these MLAs are supporters of Scindia, who joined the BJP on Wednesday after leaving the Congress a day earlier.
The Congress has an official rally of 114 in the 228-member Assembly and the party also enjoyed the support of four Independents, two BSP and one SP MLA.
If the resignations of 22 camping MLAs in Bengaluru are accepted or they refrain from voting in the Rajya Sabha elections, the actual strength of the assembly will be 206. Congress, on its own, then 92 members and BJP 107 seats.
Two other candidates – BJP’s Ranjana Baghel and Ram Das Dahiwale, an independent have also filed their nominations in Madhya Pradesh.
Apart from Madhya Pradesh, there are seven seats from Maharashtra, six from Tamil Nadu, five from West Bengal and Bihar, four each from Odisha, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, three each from Assam and Rajasthan, two each from Telangana, Chhattisgarh. Haryana and Jharkhand, and one each from Himachal Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress are expected to win the majority of seats in the elections, but both will see their strength down marginally.
The Trinamool Congress and YSR Congress Party are expected to make significant gains in the 245-member Upper House after the March 26 election.
For the seven Rajya Sabha seats vacant in Maharashtra, Pawar and Union Minister Ramdas Athawale, both Rajya Sabha members, sat; Udayanraje Bhosle of BJP, a descendant of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and Bhagwat Karad; Congress general secretary Rajiv Satav, Shiv Sena deputy leader Priyanka Chaturvedi and former NCP minister Fauzia Khan are in the fray.
In neighboring Gujarat too, the BJP is expected to see nomination papers with three candidates – Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin – and two from Congress – Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki. Empty seats.
In the 182-member state assembly, the BJP has 103 members, Congress 73, Bharatiya Tribal Party 2, NCP 1 and Independent 1. Two seats are vacant.
BJP will need 111 votes to win all three seats, while Congress will need 74 votes to win two seats.
Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani on Friday extended his support to the Congress.
In West Bengal, the ruling TMC fielded Dinesh Trivedi, Arpita Ghosh, Mausam Noor and Subrata Bakshi. TMC insiders said its former MLA Dinesh Bajaj has also filed his nomination and the party may get support.