NEW DELHI: Former finance minister P Chidambaram, railway minister Suresh Prabhu and coal minister Piyush Goyal made a smooth entry to Rajya Sabha on Friday as they remained unopposed on the last day for the withdrawal of nominations in the biennial polls.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti won unchallenged from Bihar. This is her Parliament debut. She had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha polls in 2014.
On the last day for the withdrawal of nominations for this round of the RS elections, 31 candidates from nine states secured their seats. Twenty three candidates from six other states will contest on June 11. Many Independent candidates will also be in the fray on June 11.
The fate of contestants from Karnataka hangs in the balance as the Election Commission of India is awaiting a report from the state electoral office on the sting operation where bribes were allegedly offered to political leaders for supporting candidates.
Congress, the largest party in the Upper House, lost five seats on Friday but is likely to win a few seats during the polling.
Along with Bharti, former law minister of the first NDA, Ram Jethmalani, will return to the House, this time on an RJD ticket. He was fielded by the BJP in his last term from Rajasthan but he fell off with a large section of the BJP leadership.
Minister of state for science and technology Satyanarayana Chowdary was also elected unanimously to RS. In Andhra Pradesh, Vijaysai Reddy won the elections and is the lone face of the YSR Congress in the Upper House. Former Union minister Praful Patel of NCP, Congress leader Ambika Soni and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut also secured their RS berths on Friday.
JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav and party nominee Ramchandra Prasad Singh were elected to the RS too. From Bihar, BJP’s Gopal Narayan Singh won an RS berth unopposed.