The stage is set for the Rajya Sabha elections. Today is the last date of nomination for the elections to 59 Rajya Sabha seats. The polling and counting will take place on March 23. The last date to withdraw is March 15.
All parties have announced their list of candidates. The BJP has announced a list of 18 candidates while the Congress came up with a list of 10.
Seven of the 18 names announced by the BJP are from Uttar Pradesh. They are:
Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, GVL Narsimha Rao and Harnath Singh Yadav will contest from Uttar Pradesh. The BJP had earlier announced the name of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
In UP there are 10 seats up for grabs. The BSP has nominated Bhimrao Ambedkar while Jaya Bachchan will be the SP's candidate. Former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane's name also appears among the list of candidates from Maharashtra.
The other candidates include Saroj Pandey from Chhattisgarh; Anil Baluni from Uttarakhand; Kirori Lal Meena and Madan Lal Saini from Rajasthan; V Muralidharan from Maharashtra; Rajeev Chandrasekhar from Karnataka and Sameer Uranv from Jharkhand.
Lt. Gen (Retd.) DP Vats has been nominated from Haryana. Ajay Pratap Singh and Kailash Soni will contest from Madhya Pradesh. The BJP had earlier also announced the name of Oil and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan who has been fielded from Madhya Pradesh.
Among the other Union Ministers who would be contesting the RS polls are Thawar Chand Gehlot, Mansukh L Mandaviya, Parshottam Rupala, Jagat Prakash Nadda and Ravi Shankar Prasad. BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav is contesting from Rajasthan.
The Congress on the other hand has nominated Naranbhai Rathwa and Amee Yajnik from Gujarat; Dhiraj Prasad Sahu from Jharkhand; Dr L Hanumanthaiah, Dr. Syed Naseer Hussain and G C Chandrasekhar from Karnataka; Rajmani Patel from Madhya Pradesh; Kumar Ketkar from , Maharashtra; Porika Belram Naik from Telangana and Abhishek Manu Singhvi from West Bengal.
The Congress has named Babu Prasad as the UDF opposition candidate from Kerala.
M P Veerendra Kumar, State President of Janata Dal (United), Sharad Yadav faction, is the candidate of the ruling CPI-M led LDF.
In Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu Desam Party has re-nominated C M Ramesh, a businessman. It also chose Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has announced the names of party's general secretary J Santosh Kumar, B Lingaiah Yadav and B Prakash in Telangana. The JD(U) has in Bihar has nominated Mahendra Prasad Singh and Bashistha Narain Singh.