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BJP, Congress Announce List of Candidates for RS Elections: Who's In, Who's Not?

The elections to the Rajya Sabha come a few weeks before the Presidential election set to take place in July.

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The Bharatiya Janata Party, on Sunday, 29 May, released a list of 18 candidates for elections to the Rajya Sabha, scheduled for 10 June. Meanwhile, the Congress also released its list of 10 candidates for the polls.

The elections to the Upper House of Parliament come a few weeks before the crucial presidential elections set to take place in July.

The polls are scheduled for 10 June and will be used to fill 57 Rajya Sabha seats from 15 states which are becoming vacant after the retirement of members. The last date for filing nominations is 31 May.

The election will be contested on 11 seats from Uttar Pradesh, seven seats from Maharashtra, six in Tamil Nadu, five seats from Bihar, four seats from Rajasthan, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, three seats in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, two in Punjab, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Telangana, and a single seat in Uttarakhand.

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BJP Names Sitharaman, Goyal, Leaves Out Mukhtar Naqvi

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman from Karnataka, and Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal from Maharashtra are among the prominent names up for re-elections given the nearing end of their terms.

Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, however, has not been named in the list even though his term is set to end.

According to a press release, the party is currently contesting six seats in Uttar Pradesh, two seats in Karnataka, two in Maharashtra, two in Bihar and a single seat in Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

The BJP also announced the candidacy of Dr Anil Bonde from Maharashtra, Ghanshyam Tiwari from Rajasthan, Satish Chandra Dubey from Bihar, Kalpana Saini from Uttarakhand, Shambhu Sharan Patel from Bihar, Kavita Patidar from Madhya Pradesh, Jaggesh from Karnataka, and Krishan Lal Panwar from Haryana.

Dr Radha Mohan Das Agarwal, the four-time MLA from Gorakhpur Urban, also featured on the list of candidates. Agarwal vacated his seat to make way for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the UP Assembly election.

The party subsequently announced Dhananjay Mahadik’s candidacy, making him the third candidate from Maharashtra. Meanwhile, Aditya Sahu, state BJP general secretary has been fielded from Jharkhand.

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Congress Names Vivek Tankha, Mukul Wasnik, Leaves Out Pawan Khera

The Congress' list of 10 candidates includes the likes of P Chidambaram from Tamil Nadu, Ajay Maken from Haryana, Jairam Ramesh from Karnataka, and Randeep Surjewala from Rajasthan.

The INC’s list also includes Vivek Tankha (Madhya Pradesh) and former Union Minister Mukul Wasik (Rajasthan), a part of the G23 which was a group of 23 leaders who wrote to Congress President Sonia Gandhi in 2020 calling for sweeping changes in the organisation’s functioning.

The INC has also fielded Ranjeet Ranjan and Rajeev Shukla from Chhattisgarh, All India Congress Committee Minority Department Chairperson Imran Pratapgarhi from Maharashtra, and Pramod Tiwari from Rajasthan.

All other members of the G23 have been excluded, including veteran leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma.

Moreover, prominent party leader Pawan Khera has been left out of consideration for the polls. "Maybe there is something missing in my penance," Khera tweeted in Hindi, reacting to the exclusion.

Sharing Khera’s tweet, leader and popular actor Nagma tweeted that Sonia Gandhi “personally committed to accommodating” her in the Upper House when she joined the Congress almost two decades ago. Citing Pratapgharhi’s nomination from Maharashtra, she asked, “am I less deserving?”

The party has faced severe criticism for its candidates in Rajasthan, none of whom hail from the state.

Congress MLA from Sirohi in Rajasthan, Sanyam Lodha, asked the party for an explanation on why no one from Rajasthan was nominated.

He tweeted: "The Congress party should tell what is the reason for not making any Congress leader/worker from Rajasthan, a candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections?"

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Topics:  BJP   Rajya Sabha   Piyush Goyal 

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