NEW DELHI: Several senior leaders were elected to the Rajya Sabha unopposed, on Friday. However, elections will be held on June 11 at five places as the number of candidates is more than the seats.
Among prominent leaders, elected unopposed, were Union ministers Piyush Goyal, Suresh Prabhu, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, and JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav. In Maharashtra, all candidates, including Chidambaram, Goyal, former Union minister Praful Patel (NCP), BJP’s Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Vikas Mahatme and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut got elected. All six nominees of AIADMK and DMK in Tamil Nadu were declared elected. In Andhra Pradesh, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu backed by BJP ally TDP, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Y Satyanarayana Chowdary and T G Venkatesh and V Vijaysai Reddy of TDP were elected.
Noted Supreme Court lawyer Ram Jethmalani backed by ruling RJD and RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti were among five candidates declared elected unopposed for Rajya Sabha in Bihar. However, elections will be held in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Congress nominees Kapil Sibal and Vivek Tankha, a Supreme Court lawyer have to face election jitters. Both of them have filed their nominations from Madhya Pradesh. BSP will play a crucial role, as Congress is short of one vote to get its candidate elected. BSP had earlier bailed out Congress in Uttarakhand trust vote thus paving the way for Harish Rawat to become CM again.
From BJP’s side, M J Akbar and Anil Madhav Dave are set to win but the party’s third candidate Vinod Gotia, who has filed as an independent candidate, can make things difficult for Vivek Tankha.
In Uttar Pradesh Preeti Mahapatra, a social worker, filed her nomination with support of BJP MLAs. Now there are 12 candidates for the 11 Rajya Sabha seats. Contest is also likely in Karnataka where five candidates, including Union Minister Nirmala Seetharaman and Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Oscar Fernandes, are vying for four Rajya Sabha seats.
Polling for the four seats in Rajasthan will take place as no candidate withdrew their nomination with four BJP candidates, including union minister M Venkaiah Naidu, and one independent candidate. Haryana too will witness a race among the four candidate for the two seats.
BJP looks ahead, backs independents
In Uttar Pradesh Preeti Mahapatra, a social worker, filed her nomination with support of BJP MLAs. Now there are 12 candidates for the 11 Rajya Sabha seats. In Madhya Pradesh too BJP has backed noted Supreme Court lawyer Vinod Gotia, who has filed as independent.