Elections for four Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat, which are slated to fall vacant in April 2020, will be held on March 26. Of these four seats, BJP holds three and the Congress one. With the Election Commission of India announcing the biennial elections to the Upper House of Parliament (Council of States) to fill these four seats, political observers are keen to see whether these polls will be a repeat of the hotly contested one in the state in 2017.
Three BJP MPs on the way out are Chunibhai Kanjibhai Gohel from Junagadh, Lalsinh Udesinh Vadodiya from Anand, and Shambhuprasad Baldevdasji Tundiya from Ahmedabad. Congress MP Madhusudan Mistry will vacate the fourth RS seat. In the 182-member Assembly, BJP has 103 MLAs and the opposition Congress 73. The Bharatiya Tribal Party has two MLAs, and Nationalist Congress Party one. One MLA is Independent while two seats are vacant.
The tenure of as many as 55 Rajya Sabha members from 17 states is coming to an end in April 2020. Of these, 30 seats from 12 states will fall vacant on April 9. For Gujarat seats, the poll notification will be issued on March 6. March 13 would be the last date for filing of nominations. Scrutiny of papers will be done on March 16 whereas the date for withdrawal will be March 18.
Polling will be held between 9 am and 4 pm March 26. Counting of votes will be undertaken at 5 pm the same day. The entire process will be completed on March 30. According to the rules governing Rajya Sabha elections, the BJP can win only two seats and the opposition Congress the remaining two. The BJP can retain the three seats only if there are defections from other parties, which seems unlikely in the current situation.