BJP eyes Rajya Sabha nominations for Smriti Irani, two ex-ministers who lost general elections

Party sources hint at Rajya Sabha nominations for former ministers—Smriti Irani, Arjun Munda and RK Singh—who lost in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.
(L to R) BJP leaders and former Union ministers RK Singh, Smriti Irani and Arjun Munda.
(L to R) BJP leaders and former Union ministers RK Singh, Smriti Irani and Arjun Munda.FILE Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: Following the defeats of numerous sitting MPs and Union ministers in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is contemplating nominating at least three of its defeated members to the Rajya Sabha.

Party sources hinted that the potential nominees for the Upper House of Parliament are said to include Smriti Irani, Arjun Munda, and RK Singh, all of whom served as Union ministers in the second term of the Modi government but were unsuccessful in this year's general elections.

The move is aimed at filling vacancies in the Upper House following the election of some Rajya Sabha members to the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha secretariat has notified of the vacancies in Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tripura.

"Due to the transition of many Rajya Sabha MPs to the Lok Sabha, vacancies have emerged in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP's Rajya Sabha MPs, including Sarbananda Sonowal from Assam, Vivek Thakur from Bihar, Jyotiraditya Scindia from Madhya Pradesh, and Piyush Goyal from Maharashtra, have been elected to the Lok Sabha. The former ministers who were defeated in the Lok Sabha elections may be nominated to fill three of these vacant Rajya Sabha seats by the BJP," a party source said.

Smriti Irani was defeated by Congress candidate KL Sharma in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi. The 48-year-old former Union minister remains a notable figure within the BJP leadership. Despite the defeat, Smriti's political acumen positions her as a valuable asset for the party.

Arjun Munda lost the Khunti seat in Jharkhand to the Congress' Kali Charan Munda. The 56-year-old is a prominent tribal face within the BJP and brings valuable administrative expertise to the table as a former Chief Minister of Jharkhand.

The presence of leaders like Munda in the Upper House is expected to strengthen the Treasury benches during discussions on various issues against the Opposition. According to a BJP leader, Arjun's "long-standing association with the BJP and his administrative expertise make him a suitable candidate for Rajya Sabha and his nomination is almost final."

Similarly, RK Singh suffered a loss to CPI(ML)L candidate Sudama Prasad in Bihar's Arrah. Singh, who served as the Minister of State for Power and New and Renewable Energy in the second term of the Modi government, brings a blend of bureaucratic experience and political acumen.

The 71-year-old's contributions to the energy sector align with the BJP's emphasis on governance and development. Given PM Modi's focus on solar power-based schemes, Singh's expertise is seen as a valuable addition to the Upper House of Parliament.

By nominating these seasoned leaders to the Rajya Sabha, the BJP aims to effectively utilise talent within its ranks, despite electoral setbacks. The strategic move reflects the party's commitment to leveraging experience in governance and legislative dynamics through the Upper House.

(L to R) BJP leaders and former Union ministers RK Singh, Smriti Irani and Arjun Munda.
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