37 elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha, battle narrows to 17 seats in 5 states
With the ruling and opposition party candidates for Rajya Sabha elections sailing through unopposed in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Telangana, Odisha, Haryana and Chhattisgarh, its a tough fight in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, where the elections for remaining seats in the upper house will be held on March 26.
Nominations had been filed for 55 Rajya Sabha seats in 17 states for the March 26 election. The deadline for withdrawal of nomination ended on Wednesday.
In Maharashtra, seven nominees including Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, union minister of state for social justice and Republican Party of India (A) chief Ramdas Athawale have been elected to the upper house after the nomination of an independent was rejected in the scrutiny.
There were seven vacancies from Maharashtra, to be elected by members of the legislative assembly. BJP which is the single largest party in the assembly fielded three candidates, NCP two while Congress and Shiv Sena one each.
The Trinamool Congress in West Bengal saw its four candidates and a CPI (M) nominee declared elected unopposed, officials said.
Trinamool Congress candidates Arpita Ghosh, Dinesh Trivedi, Subrata Bakshi and Mausam Noor and CPI(M)’s Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, backed by the Congress, were declared elected after the deadline for withdrawal of nomination papers at 3 pm, they said.
After TMC-backed Independent candidate Dinesh Bajaj’s nomination was cancelled due to technical reasons on Tuesday, voting scheduled on March 26 was done away with.
In Chhattisgarh Congress nominees K T S Tulsi and Phulo Devi Netam were the only candidates in the fray for the two seats of the upper house, hence they were declared unopposed.
Bihar too saw no election as all the five candidates for as many Rajya Sabha seats were declared unopposed as there were no withdrawals by any of the candidates on the last day of withdrawal of nominations. The five persons have been elected for the upper house of Parliament against the vacancies occurring next month.
Secretary of the state assembly cum returning officer (RO) for the Rajya Sabha polls Bateshwar Nath Pandey declared the names of the candidates elected unopposed namely Amarendra Dhari Singh, Prem Chand Gupta( both RJD), Ramnath Thakur, JD(U), Vivek Thakur ( BJP) and Harivansh Narayan Singh JD(U).
In Odisha, the BJD candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls too were elected unopposed as opposition BJP and Congress did not field any nominee for the polls.
BJD had named Kudumi leader Mamata Mahanta, former Odia film actor Munna Khan, trade union leader Subash Singh and technocrat Sujeet Kumar for the four vacant posts early this month.
In Tamil Nadu all the six candidates for the biennial elections, including AIADMK’s M Thambidurai, a former Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and DMK leader Tiruchi Siva, incumbent upper house member was declared elected unopposed.
The AIADMK’s other candidate, a former Minister and senior leader K P Munusamy and the ruling party’s ally, Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar) chief G K Vasan were elected.
The main opposition DMK’s N R Elango and P Selvarasu besides Tiruchi Siva were elected as well, according to an official release from the Legislative Assembly Secretariat.
Two BJP nominees Ram Chander Jangra and Dushyant Kumar Gautam and one Congress’ aspirant Deepender Singh Hooda also was elected unopposed.
A formal election has become inevitable in states like Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Andra Pradesh as candidates from the ruling and opposition parties remained in the fray for the vacant seats in the biennial elections.