The Election Commission has advanced the biennial elections to the 55 Rajya Sabha seats to February 7.
Announcing the Rajya Sabha poll schedule on Monday, the Election Commission said that it would hold elections to the 55 seats falling vacant in the states of Maharastra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Assam,Bihar, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Rajasthan and Meghalaya.
Prominent members whose terms would expire are Motilal Vora, Murli Deora, Jayanthi Natarajan, G K Vasan, C P Thakur, Shanta Kumar, Prabha Thakur, Bhubaneshwar Kalita, K V P Ramachander Rao, T Subbarami Reddy, Prem Chand Gupta, Maya Singh, Shivanand Tewari, Prashanta Chatterjee, Ramachandra Kuntia and Jai Prakash Narayan Singh.
Announcing the schedule the Election Commission said that notification would be issued on January 21.
The last date for filing of nominations is January 28 while that for withdrawal is January 31. Polling would be held on February 7.
With the announcement of the Rajya Sabha poll schedule, the Congress high command is likely to get another headache in the already volatile state of Andhra Pradesh. Rajya Sabha members from Andhra Pradesh T Subbarami Reddy, Nandi Yellaiah, Mohd Ali Khan, Ratna Bai, KVP Ramachander Rao are retiring in April. Another member N Hari Krishna had already resigned.
Going by the strength of the Assembly in the state, Congress can win three seats, Telugu Desam Party can have two seats.
It would be very interesting to see how voting will take place for the sixth seat in the backdrop of Telangana issue.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has said that the Lok Sabha elections will be held in five or six phases and the dates will most probably be announced in the last week of February.