While elections to the Rajya Sabha are scheduled to take place on 10 June, a number of candidates were elected to the Upper House of Parliament unopposed on Friday, 3 June, which was the last day for the withdrawal of nominations.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) had announced that the contest for 57 seats in Rajya Sabha would be held on 10 June. However, 41 candidates from 11 states did not face any opposition and were thus elected before the date of the election.
Here's a state-wise list of candidates who were elected to the Upper House unopposed.
Eleven candidates in total were elected unopposed from Uttar Pradesh.
Eight were from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), namely, Laxmikant Vajpayee, Radhamohan Aggarwal, Surendra Nagar, Darshana Singh, Sangeeta Yadav, Baburam Nishad, Mithilesh Kumar and Kova Laxman.
One candidate, Javed Ali, was elected unopposed from the Samajwadi Party. Rashtriya Lok Dal president Jayant Chaudhary from the SP-RLD alliance was also elected unopposed.
Former Congress leader Kapil Sibal was also elected without any opposition as an independent candidate, backed by the SP.
Five members were elected unopposed from the state: Satish Chandra Dubey and Sambhu Saran Patel from the BJP, Misa Bharti and Faiyaz Ahmad from the Rashtriya Janata Dal, and Khiru Mahto from the Janta Dal (United).
All three members elected unopposed in the state were from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), namely Sasmit Patra, Sulata Deo, and Manas Mangaraj.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
Two members were elected unopposed from Telangana, both from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi: Divakonda Damodar Rao and B Parthasaradhi Reddy.
Four members were elected unopposed from Andhra Pradesh, all from the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSR Congress): V Vijay Sai Reddy, Beeda Masthan Rao, S Niranjan Reddy, and R Krishnaiah.
Two candidates of the BJP – Sumitra Valmiki and Kavita Patidar – and one of the Congress, Vivek Tankha, were elected without any opposition to their candidature from Madhya Pradesh.
Tankha will serve his second consecutive term in the Upper House, while both Patidar and Valmiki will serve their first.
The state Assembly's principal secretary AP Singh had announced that no other candidate had filed nominations for the three vacant seats by the deadline on Friday, as per news agency PTI.
While Patidar represents the Other Backward Classes (OBC) community. Valmiki is a Dalit.
On the other hand, Tankha's first term in the Upper House is due to expire this month.
Meanwhile, all six Rajya Sabha candidates from Tamil Nadu, including Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram, were elected unopposed.
The other five candidates include the three from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) – S Kalyanasundaram, R Girirajan, and KRN Rajesh Kumar – and two from the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
Chidambaram is the Congress's first candidate in the Upper House from Tamil Nadu in six years.
It also marks the four-time former finance minister's second term in the Upper House. His first term, as a candidate from Maharashtra, expires this month.
Two Congress candidates from Chhattisgarh – Raajev Shukla and Ranjeet Ranjan – were elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
"The deadline for withdrawal of nominations ended this afternoon and the two candidates were elected unopposed," state Assembly secretary Dinesh Sharma was quoted as saying by PTI.
Of the five RS members from the state, the terms of two – the Congress's Chhaya Verma and the BJP's Ramvichar Netam – are due to expire next month.
Shukla, who was previously a journalist, has served as a Rajya Sabha MP three times before.
Ranjan, on the other hand, was earlier a Lok Sabha member from Bihar.
Owing to the overwhelming majority of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab, with 92 of the 117 seats in the state's Assembly, two of its candidates – Balbir Singh Seechewal and Vikramjit Singh Sahney – sailed through to the RS without any opposition.
Coincidentally, both Seechewal and Sahney are recipients of the Padma Shri, which is the fourth-highest civilian honour in India.
Seechewal, also known as 'Eco Baba', is an environmentalist who had gained immense praise for his efforts towards rejuvenating the 160-km long Kali Bein, a rivulet that flows into the confluence of Beas and Sutlej.
Sahney, on the other hand, is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, who had initiated efforts to assist people amid the COVID-19 pandemic in India. He is also the international president of the World Punjabi Organisation.
Mahua Maji of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Aditya Sahu of the BJP were elected unopposed from the east Indian state on Friday.
Both of them will be first-time MPs in the Upper House.
Maji has served as the chairperson of the Jharkhand State Commission for Women, and was also the president of the JMM's women's wing.
The ruling JMM has 30 legislators in the state's 81-member Assembly, while the BJP has 26.
Fifty-seven seats in the Rajya Sabha had fallen vacant earlier this year, with the highest number of vacancies (11) in Uttar Pradesh. This was followed by six vacancies each in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, four each in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Bihar, three each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, two each in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Punjab, and Telangana, and one in Uttarakhand.
The results of the remaining Rajya Sabha seats will be declared on the date of the election, ie, 10 June.
(With inputs from PTI)