Former Finance Minister and Congress leader P. Chidambaram, Samajwadi Party (SP)-backed Kapil Sibal, senior Congress leaders Rajeev Shukla, Vivek Tankha, Rashtriya Lok Dal’s (RLD) Jayant Chaudhary and Misa Bharti of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) were among the 41 candidates from 11 States who were elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha on Friday, while 16 seats across four States will witness a contest on June 10.
In all, 57 Rajya Sabha members from 15 States recently retired from the Upper House and elections are being held to fill those vacancies.
The States where a contest will take place are Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Karnataka as there are more candidates than the strength of the political parties to elect their party nominees.
In Uttar Pradesh, where 11 candidates were elected unopposed, the list includes former Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who filed his nomination as an Independent backed by the Samajwadi Party (SP), Jayant Chaudhary from the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Javed Ali Khan from the Samajwadi Party (SP). All of them have been elected on the basis of SP’s strength in the Assembly.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates elected unopposed to the Upper House are Radha Mohan Das Agarwal, Laxmikant Bajpai, Darshana Singh, Babu Ram Nishad, Mithilesh Kumar, K. Laxman, Surendra Singh Nagar and Sangeeta Yadav.
While Mr. Agarwal, a four-time MLA, was rewarded for leaving his constituency to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Mr. Bajpai has been a former BJP chief in U.P.
All the six candidates in Tamil Nadu were elected unopposed. Mr. Chidambaram from the Congress and the DMK’s R. Girirajan, S. Kalyanasundaram and K.R.N. Rajeshkumar were the ruling alliance candidates while former T.N. Minister C Ve Shanmugam and R. Dharmar were from the AIADMK.
In Chhattisgarh, Mr. Shukla and Ranjeet Ranjan were declared winners without a contest.
Mr. Tankha of the Congress and the BJP’s Sumitra Valmiki and Kavita Patidar were declared as winners in Madhya Pradesh.
Bihar saw the BJP and the RJD winning two berths each while the remaining one seat went to Janata Dal (United). RJD patriarch Lalu Prasad’s daughter, Misa Bharti, was one of the RJD members who returned to the Rajya Sabha.
In Jharkhand, where the Congress and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) were locked in a battle over who will field a candidate, sent two candidates. Mahua Maji from the JMM and Aditya Sahu of the BJP were elected.
In Uttarakhand, BJP’s Kalpana Saini was elected unopposed as the Congress didn’t field a candidate ithere while in Punjab, noted environmentalist Balbir Singh Seechewal and entrepreneur-social activist Vikramjit Singh Sahney were elected unopposed as Aam Admi Party candidates.
Four candidates from Andhra Pradesh, three candidates from Odisha and two from Telangana were also elected unopposed to the Upper House.