The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday released its list of 14 candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections which are scheduled to take place on February 27. The votes for the 56 seats spread across 15 states will be counted the same day.
RPN Singh, a former Congress leader who crossed over to the BJP in 2022, has been nominated from Uttar Pradesh. Others names from UP are: Sudhanshu Trivedi, Chaudhary Tejveer Singh, Sadhna Singh, Amarpal Maurya, Sangita Balwant and Navin Jain. The state has the highest number of vacancies of 10 seats.
Except for Sudhanshu Trivedi, none of the nine outgoing BJP MPs from Uttar Pradesh including Anil Jain, Anil Agrawal and G V L Narasimha Rao has been renominated.
A fine balance of castes reflects in the UP list with Kurmi, Brahmin, Nishad, Jain, Rajput, Maurya, Jat being represented.
None of the Union ministers, whose terms are coming to an end, was named in the list amid a strong possibility that many of them will contest the Lok Sabha polls.
In Bihar, which has six seats, the BJP, which is again in alliance with Nitish Kumar’s JDU, has named Dharmsheela Gupta and Bhim Singh. Notably, Sushil Kumar Modi’s name is missing in this list. Mr Modi has congratulated the two Bihar leaders on being nominated.
In Chhattisgarh, where the BJP handed Congress a shock defeat in the recently held state polls, it has named Raja Devendra Pratap Singh. Mr Singh is from the erstwhile Gond royal family and replaces Saroj Pandey.
In Haryana the party will field its former state chief Subhash Barala, a Jat; while in Karnataka, it is Narayana Krishanasa Bhandage.
In Uttarakhand, the BJP will field Mahendra Bhatt; while in Bengal, the party will field Samik Bhattacharya.
Candidates from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are yet to be named by the BJP.
Union ministers Mansukh Mandaviya and Parshottam Rupala from Gujarat, Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and L Murugan, both of whom represent Madhya Pradesh, and Union minister Narayan Rane from Maharashtra are among those retiring from the House as members.
Fifty eight Rajya Sabha members, including eight Central Ministers, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and BJP chief JP Nadda, will retire by the first week of May.
Among those retiring are 28 MPs from the BJP, 11 from Congress, four from Trinamool Congress, four from Bharat Rashtra Samithi, two each from Biju Janata Dal, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal (United), and one each from YSRCP, Shiv Sena, NCP, Telugu Desam Party, and Sikkim Democratic Front.