NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Congress leaders Motilal Vora, Digvijaya Singh, Murli Deora and Kumari Selja, RPI’s Ramdas Athawale and Vijay Goel of the BJP were among the 37 candidates elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha Friday from various states in the biennial polls.
Elections will be held in the remaining 18 seats on February 7 — in Andhra Pradesh (6), West Bengal (5), Orissa (4) and Assam (3).
Sanjay Singh, whose candidature has triggered protests in Assam, Congress’s T Subbrami Reddy and K V P Ramachandra Rao and TRS candidate Keshav Rao (all in Andhra Pradesh) and Trinamool candidate actor Mithun Chakraborty (West Bengal) are among those left in the fray.
Apart from Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Congress leader Murli Deora, five candidates were elected unopposed from Maharashtra. They are: Majid Memon (NCP), Hussain Dalwai (Congress), Rajkumar Dhoot (Shiv Sena), Sanjay Kakade (Independent) and Athawale, who was supported by BJP.
A total of 288 members of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly formed the electoral college for the poll but the tally of voters had come down by one due to the demise of Congress MLA Subhash Zanak recently. The quota for winning candidates was 36.
The elections were necessitated as the term of sitting members Prakash Javdekar (BJP), Bharatkumar Raut and Rajkumar Dhoot (Shiv Sena), Murli Deora and Hussain Dalwai (Congress), Y P Trivedi and Janardhan Waghmare (NCP) — all from Maharashtra — ends on April 2.
From Himachal Pradesh, former MP and senior Congress leader Viplove Thakur was declared elected unopposed. She is the first woman MP from Himachal to get a second tenure in the Upper House. The Secretary Vidhan Sabha, Sunder Singh Verma, who was the returning officer, handed over her certificate of election in the afternoon.
Viplove will replace veteran BJP leader Shanta Kumar, whose term ends on April 9. Of the three Rajya Sabha seats from Himachal Pradesh, the other two seats are held by Bimla Kashyap and J P Nadda of the BJP.
From Rajasthan, BJP nominees Vijay Goel, Ram Narain Dudi and Narain Pachariya were declared elected unopposed. The Congress did not field anyone as it fell short of the requisite number to ensure victory of its candidate.
In Bihar, all the five candidates — three from JD(U) and two from BJP were elected. The five are Ramnath Thakur, Harivansh, Kahkasha Parveen (JD-U), C P Thakur and R K Sinha (BJP). The three JD(U) candidates are new faces of the party to the Upper House. They were declared elected unopposed after the time for withdrawal of nominations ended.
The six candidates from AIADMK, DMK and CPM were also declared elected from Tamil Nadu. “L Sasikala Pushpa, Vijila Satyananth, S Muthukaruppan and A K Selvaraj (AIADMK), DMK’s Tiruchi N Siva and TK Rangarajan of CPM have been elected to fill the vacancies of six members,” Returning Officer AMP Jamaludeen said.
Sitting Congress Rajya Sabha MP fom Meghalaya, Wansuk Syiem, was declared elected for the second term to Rajya Sabha as she was the only candidate in the fray.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Secretary H Mylliemngap, who is also the returning Officer for the election, declared Syiem as the elected representative to the Rajya Sabha.