With the elections for vacant seats in the Rajya Sabha scheduled this month, the BJP and the TMC announced their candidates on Sunday.
The BJP released a list of 14 candidates for the forthcoming Rajya Sabha elections from Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.
The list includes Sudhanshu Trivedi, and former Congress leader RPN Singh from Uttar Pradesh, with former Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala announced as the candidate from Haryana.
The Trinamool Congress nominated journalist Sagarika Ghose among its candidates for the biennial polls on February 27.
In Uttar Pradesh, besides Sudhanshu Trivedi, former BJP MLA Sadhna Singh, and RPN Singh, the other candidates are Chaudhary Tejveer Singh, Amarpal Maurya, Sangita Balwant, and Navin Jain. RPN Singh, a former Congress leader from the politically important Kurmi caste, joined the BJP in 2022.
The State has the highest number of vacancies with 10 seats. None of the Union Ministers whose terms are ending were named in the list, indicating a strong possibility that many of them will contest the Lok Sabha polls. However, the party is yet to name several candidates. Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, representing Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha, and BJP chief spokesperson and media head Anil Baluni, the outgoing MP from Uttarakhand, have not been nominated.
Sources said both may be fielded by the party in the Lok Sabha polls.
Senior Bihar leader Sushil Kumar Modi’s fate also hangs in the balance as his name did not figure among the candidates named by the party.
In Bihar, which has six seats, the BJP, in alliance with Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), has named Dharmsheela Gupta and Bhim Singh. In Chhattisgarh, the BJP has named Raja Devendra Pratap Singh. From Karnataka, it has named Narayana Krishanasa Bhandage; Mahendra Bhatt from Uttarakhand, and Samik Bhattacharya from West Bengal.
Elections for 56 seats in the Rajya Sabha are set to take place on February 27, with the votes being counted the same day.
Mamata Banerjee-led TMC named four candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections from West Bengal. While the party nominated party leaders Sushmita Dev, Md Nadimul Haque, and Mamata Bala Thakur, it surprised many by announcing well-known journalist Sagarika Ghose as its nominee.
According to the current strength of the West Bengal Assembly, four TMC candidates and one from the BJP will be elected to the Rajya Sabha. Haque is a two-time Rajya Sabha MP, having been sent to the Upper House of Parliament for the first time in 2012.
Sushmita Dev began her political career with the Congress and served as the president of the All India Mahila Congress. She is the daughter of veteran Congress leader and MP Santosh Mohan Dev.