Rajya Sabha Election 2018: The Curious Case of Walkover Victories
The Rajya Sabha elections for the 58 seats across 16 states are slated for 23 March, but over 25 candidates have already won the elections unopposed.
All political parties released their list of candidates last week, with 15 March being the last day for any change, reshuffle or withdrawal of candidature. Here’s the list of candidates:
Six candidates from Bihar have been elected unopposed, including National Democratic Alliance candidate Ravi Shankar Prasad, Narayan Singh and Mahendra Prasad.
Three candidates of the Bihar grand alliance, Manoj Jha, Akhilesh Prasad Singh and Ashfaq Karim, were also declared winners.
TDP candidates CM Ramesh, K Ravindra Kumar and YSR Congress leader V Prabhakar Reddy were elected from Andhra Pradesh. Kumar and Reddy are first-time winners, while Ramesh has been elected for the second time. With that, the TDP now has six members in Rajya Sabha and YSR has two.
Four candidates of the BJP and one candidate of the Congress were elected unopposed from Madhya Pradesh. The winners include Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Thawar Chand Gehlot.
The other candidates are: Kailash Soni and Ajay Pratap Singh of the BJP, and Rajmani Patel from Congress. While this is Gehlot’s second election for Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh, Pradhan was earlier a member from Bihar.
Six candidates, including Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, have been elected unopposed from Maharashtra after state Women’s Commission chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar withdrew her candidature.
The NDA winners include Javadekar, former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane and V Muralidharan, along with senior journalist Kumar Ketkar from Congress, Shiv Sena candidate Anil Desai and Nationalist Congress Party leader Vandana Chavhan.
The three seats in Rajasthan have been claimed by BJP leaders – Dr Kirodi Lal Meena, Bhupendra Yadav and Madan Lal Saini – unopposed. The three were declared winners after Congress decided to not field any candidate in the state and no other candidate filed nominations.
Retired General Dr DP Vats of the BJP was elected unopposed for the lone Rajya Sabha seat after no other candidate filed nominations from the state. The seat is currently occupied by Congress’s Shadi Lal Batra.
Biju Janata Dal candidates Prashant Nanda, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and Achyut Samant were declared winners after independent candidate Subhash Mahapatra was disqualified.