Race starts for 57 vacancies in Rajya Sabha

Of the 57 vacancies in Rajya Sabha, only a few may see contests

Of the 57 vacancies in Rajya Sabha, only a few may see contests
Of the 57 vacancies in Rajya Sabha, only a few may see contests

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]W[/dropcap]ith Congress and BJP having started fielding their heavy weights, the coming two months of political manoeuvring is going to concentrate on the forthcoming 57 vacancies in the Rajya Sabha. It is expected that there will be no contest in most of these seats as the votes are intact due to anti-defection law. So getting a seat is important and change in the structure of the Upper House is another interesting concern. As many as 21 vacancies are coming in June from Andhra Pradesh (4 seats), Tamil Nadu (6 seats), Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka (4 seats each) and Chhattisgarh, Telangana (2 seats each).

In July 34 seats are going to be vacant from Uttar Pradesh (11 seats), Bihar (5 seats), Maharashtra (6 seats), Rajasthan (4 seats), Odisha(3 seats), Punjab and Jharkhand (2 seats each) and one seat from Uttarakhand. In August two seats are becoming vacant from Haryana where BJP can bag both the seats.

Congress has already fielded their top leaders P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Jairam Ramesh from Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka respectively. Ram Jethmalani has already booked his seat from Bihar from Lalu Prasad’s RJD quota by outsmarting Kapil Sibal. It is a known secret that maintaining his plush 2 Akbar Road residence is a priority for him, and therefore Jethmalani needed to enter Rajya Sabha. He entered in 2006 as UPA’s government’s nominated member and in 2010 as BJP nominee. He will retain his bungalow through his client Lalu Prasad’s quota. Sibal was also trying his best to enter through Bihar. He first entered Rajya Sabha as an RJD MP while conducting cases of Lalu. But this time Lalu went with senior advocate Jethmalani and Sibal at last got the blessings of his National Herald case clients Sonia and Rahul. Sibal still needs an extra eight votes which he hopes to convince Samajwadi Party to cough up.

BJP also announced its first list of candidates like Venkaiah Naidu, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Nirmala Sitaraman, Birendra Singh, Piyush Goyal etc. BJP led NDA can increase their strength in Maharashtra and Congress lost badly in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu – they have lack the MLAs needed to make MPs in Rajya Sabha. In these states Congress cannot send anyone to the Upper House. What a shocker for the Grand Old Party!

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]n Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, all Congress MPs from Rajya Sabha will vanish as the party was drubbed in the previous year Assembly elections. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is expected to bag two seats and one seat will go to YSR Congress. TDP has given BJP one seat by accommodating Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who was earlier elected from Haryana. It is a mystery as to why Nirmala Sitharaman, the sitting MP was not accommodated by TDP and BJP has now fielded her from Karnataka. In Telangana all the two seats will go to TRS. In Tamil Nadu, four seats will go to AIADMK kitty and two to DMK.

In Bihar RJD and JD(U) is expected to share two seats and the remaining one seat will go to BJP and BJP has already fielded former state unit president Gopal Narayan Singh. That would infer that Sushil Modi is not going be part of the Union Cabinet in the upcoming reshuffle. Lalu has allotted his other seat to troubling daughter Misa Bharati. Earlier he had planned to send wife Rabri to get a big bungalow in Delhi, as she was a former Chief Minister. Misa will get only an apartment or a small home, as she is a first time MP.

Uttrakhand Congress has fielded Pradeep Tamata for the lone seat, which is currently occupied by BJP’s Tarun Vijay. In Jharkhand Congress and BJP will share one seat each and BJP has fielded Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. The sitting MP M J Akbar is accommodated from Madhya Pradesh.

In Uttar Pradesh, out of 11 seats, Samajwadi Party is expected to gain six seats and BSP is expected get three seats and BJP and Congress will get one each. Amar Singh has already entered into the good books of Mulayam Singh Yadav and already declared his re-entry into Rajya Sabha.

In Maharashtra, four seats will be shared by BJP and Shiv Seana and the remaining two seats will be shared by Congress and NCP. NCP’s Praful Patel will retain the seat and the lone seat of Congress is fixed for Chidambaram. In Karnataka there are four vacancies and Congress has retained Sonia’s most trusted lieutenant Oscar Fernandez. Victory of Oscar, Jairam Ramesh and Nirmala Sitharaman are certain. All eyes are on the other seat, where Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal has fielded a businessman B M Farooq and Congress has fielded a former IPS officer K C Ramamoorthy. There will be stiff competition for this post where both parties will fear cross voting.

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