BJP, Congress announce candidates for Rajya Sabha elections: Check here
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday announced the names of 18 candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal have been fielded from Karnataka and Maharashtra, respectively. The Indian National Congress (INC) also released its list of 10 names on Sunday. The RS elections will be held on June 10.
- Notably, elections will be held to fill 57 RS seats.
- While 11 seats will fall vacant from Uttar Pradesh, six members each will retire from Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, five from Bihar, and four each from Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka.
- Three members each from Odisha and Madhya Pradesh, two each from Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Punjab, Haryana, and Jharkhand, and one from Uttarakhand will retire.
Of the BJP's 18 candidates, six are from Uttar Pradesh, three from Maharashtra, two each from Karnataka and Bihar, and one each from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, and Haryana. The UP list comprises former BJP MLA Radha Mohan Das Aggarwal, former state unit chief Laxmikant Vajpayee, sitting Rajya Sabha MP Surendra Singh Nagar, and Bauburam Nishad. Two women candidates have also been named.
The BJP has also fielded two women candidates from Uttar Pradesh. Darshana Singh, former state chief of the party's women wing, and Sangeeta Yadav, who is a former party MLA from Chauri Chaura in Gorakhpur, have found their names on the list. The saffron party has also fielded a woman candidate—Kavita Patidar who belongs to the Other Backward Class (OBC) community—from Madhya Pradesh.
The BJP fielded former MLA Krishan Lal Panwar from Haryana. Ghanshyam Tiwari is the party's nominee from Rajasthan and Kalpana Saini from Uttarakhand. It fielded Satish Chandra Dubey and Shambhu Sharan Patel from Bihar and Aditya Sahu from Jharkhand. From Maharashtra, besides Goyal, it has named Anil Sukhdevrao Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik. Actor-turned-politician S Jaggesh will be the party's nominee from Karnataka besides Sitharaman.
The Congress has announced 10 candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections. The party nominated Rajeev Shukla and Ranjeet Ranjan from Chhattisgarh. While Ajay Maken was fielded from Haryana, it renominated Jairam Ramesh from Karnataka, Vivek Tankha from Madhya Pradesh, and P Chidambaram from Tamil Nadu. Mukul Wasnik, Randeep Singh Surjewala, and Pramod Tiwari have been nominated from Rajasthan, and Imran Pratapgarhi from Maharashtra.
Notably, Wasnik and Tankha were among the Congress's G23 dissident leaders group, who had written to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi in August 2020 to overhaul the party's leadership and organization. However, prominent party veterans and dissenting leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma were conspicuously left out of the list. Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera's name was also missing from the list.
Meanwhile, the Congress leadership is being criticized for its choice of candidates from Rajasthan as none of them belong to the state. This has prompted state MLAs to question if none of its Rajasthan members were deserving enough. Moreover, actor-turned-politician Nagma, the vice-president of Congress's Mumbai unit, also criticized the selection of poet-turned-politician Pratapgarhi from Maharashtra. Notably, Pratapgarhi is a politician from Uttar Pradesh.