MUMBAI: Decks have been cleared for election of Union power minister Piyush Goyal, former Union finance minister PC hi dam bar am, senior BJP functionary Vinay Sahastrabuddhe, former Union minister Praful Patel and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut to Rajya Sabha as they are likely to be elected unopposed from Maharashtra.
Only six candidates have filed their nomination for the same number of Rajya Sabha seats from the state.
With its increased numbers in the state assembly, the BJP is set to get half of the seats. It means the ruling party will get more power with the polls in the Upper House.
Chidambaram (Congress), Sahastrabuddhe and Dr Vikas Ma hat me( BJP) filed their papers on Tuesday, the last day for filing nominations.
With no extra candidate for the six seats, it is clear that all the candidates will be elected unopposed.
The last day for withdrawing nominations is June 3. The elections for the six seats will be held on June 11.
The BJP will be the biggest beneficiary in the polls as it will gain two more seats as the strength of the party has increased in the last state assembly polls held in 2014.
In contrast, both the Opposition parties—the Congress and NCP — will lose one seat each.
The BJP’s strength has been increased to 122 from 46 in 2009 and Shiv Sena’s tally also rose to 62 from 45.
As a result, the BJP has fielded three candidates — Goyal, Mahatme and Sahastrabuddhe against one retiring member (Piyush Goyal).
The other ruling party Shiv Sena has also decided to help the BJP elect its third candidate. This is the reason the party is contesting for only one seat and Sanjay Raut was again nominated for the post.
Similarly, the Congress’s strength reduced to 42 from 82 i n 2009 and NCP’s to 41 f rom 63. Both parties have fielded one candidate each — Chidambaram and Patel respectively. Congress MP Vijay Darda and Avinash Pande are retiring from Upper House on July 4.