NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday announced the names of 18 candidates, including former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane, for the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha from nine states.
The announcement came after the meeting of the BJP's Central Election Committee.
BJP General Secretary Saroj Pandey will contest from Chhattisgarh, the party's Media Cell Convenor Anil Baluni from Uttarakhand, and Lt General D.P. Vats (retd) from Haryana.
Independent Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar will be the BJP candidate from Karnataka. In case he wins, it will be his second term in the Rajya Sabha. Earlier, he was elected to the upper house as an Independent.
The party has nominated tribal leader Sameer Uranv to contest the March 23 Rajya Sabha polls from Jharkhand.
The highest number of seven candidates -- Ashok Bhajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, G.V.L. Narsimha Rao and Harnath Singh Yadav -- will contest from Uttar Pradesh.
Madan Lal Saini and Kirori Lal Meena have been fielded from Rajasthan while Narayan Rane and V. Muraleedharan (Kerala) will contest from Maharashtra.
Ajay Pratap Singh and Kailash Soni will contest from Madhya Pradesh.
On Wednesday, the BJP had renominated to the Rajya Sabha all eight Union Ministers, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, apart from its General Secretary and key strategist Bhupender Yadav from Rajasthan.
While Jaitley was nominated from Uttar Pradesh, Javadekar was shifted to his home state Maharashtra from Madhya Pradesh. Jaitley is currently a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was shifted to Madhya Pradesh from Bihar.
Voting to elect 58 members to the Rajya Sabha from different states will take place on March 23. The last date for filing nominations is March 12. March 15 is the last date for withdrawal of candidature.
There are 10 vacancies from Uttar Pradesh, six each from Bihar and Maharashtra, five each from Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, four each from Gujarat and Karnataka, three each from Odisha, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, two from Jharkhand and one each from Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.