Fierce dispute for seats in RS in 4 states

Elections will be held to fill 16 vacant seats in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament, today. 41 candidates were elected without opposition. The election will be crucial in view of the presidential elections scheduled for July.

The 57 vacant seats were distributed across 15 states. Of these, the BJP held 23 seats and eight were occupied by Congress. The rest was divided among the other parties.

The toughest disputes are expected in opposition-ruled states such as Rajasthan and Maharashtra, where both sides have corralled their MLAs in resorts to prevent poaching. Election is scheduled for 16 seats in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Haryana.

Maximum seats, 11, are located in Uttar Pradesh. It is followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu with six seats each.

Candidates for the polls include Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal, Randeep Surjewala of Congress, Jairam Ramesh and Mukul Wasnik, and Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena.

In Maharashtra – where polls for the Rajya Sabha are taking place after two decades – the ruling alliance of Shiv Sena, Congress and Sharad Pawar’s CPN is in a difficult situation after its imprisoned MLAs were not allowed to post bail to vote.

The BJP has managed to pass the 100 mark in the Upper House, becoming the first party to do so since 1990. Still, the elections should help it increase its numbers ahead of the presidential elections.

Since 2017, when the last presidential elections were held, Jammu and Kashmir have been under the president’s regime. Three other states – Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu – are under opposition control.

With NDTV inputs

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