BJP begins shortlisting candidates for RS polls

National |  IANS  | Published :

Lucknow, Feb 6 (IANS) The BJP is all set to shortlist candidates for the upcoming biennial elections, due on February 27, keeping in mind the caste factors relevant in the Lok Sabha elections and also the organisational importance of candidates.

The names will be shortlisted soon and then sent to the party’s central leadership for final approval.

In Uttar Pradesh, 10 Rajya Sabha seats are falling vacant in April and elections for these are being held this month.

Of the ten seats, the BJP holds nine and its retiring members include Anil Jain, Anil Agarwal, Ashok Bajpai, Kanta Kardam, Sakaldeep Rajbhar, GVL Narsimha Rao, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sudhanshu Trivedi and Harnath Singh Yadav.

Sources said that the BJP was likely to field some fresh faces for the Upper House this time and also accommodate some veterans.

Jaya Bachchan is the sole Samajwadi Party MP who will retire from the Upper House of Parliament.

Given its strength in the Assembly, the BJP-led NDA is expected to win seven seats and the SP-RLD combine could win three seats.

The BJP will be backed by its three allies, the Apna Dal-S, Nishad Party and SBSP.

The BJP will also receive the support of Raja Bhaiya led Jansatta Dal (Loktantrik) which has been leaning in favour of the ruling party.

The SP-RLD combine will face the test of solidarity from the Congress which has two MLAs in Uttar Pradesh. These three parties are also the key constituents of the Opposition bloc INDIA.

This way, the strength of the NDA in the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh is expected to go down from 25 to 23 seats, while the strength of the Opposition bloc will go up from three to five.

At present, Uttar Pradesh has 31 MPs in the Rajya Sabha — 25 from the NDA, three from the SP, one each from BSP (Ramji Gautam) and RLD (Jayant Chaudhary), and one Independent Kapil Sibal.

Both, BJP and SP, will try to make deft electoral moves while nominating candidates.

Sources said there is a possibility of the BJP accommodating its allies in the Rajya Sabha to cement support from their voter base for the Lok Sabha elections.

While the RLD and Congress will go with SP in these polls, the BSP’s stand will be made clear by Mayawati after all candidates are announced.

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