Out of 58 Rajya Sabha seats going to polls on Friday, the candidates of various parties have won unopposed on at least 29 seats from nine states. The election of these leaders was a foregone conclusion given the numerical strength of their parties in the respective state assemblies.
The fate of rest of Rajya Sabha candidates will be decided on March 23 when legislators will cast their vote in the indirect elections.
Here is the list of candidates who have been given walkover victories in Rajya Sabha polls:
Six candidates from Bihar have been elected unopposed, including National Democratic Alliance candidate Ravi Shankar Prasad, Narayan Singh and Mahendra Prasad. Three candidates of the Bihar grand alliance, Manoj Jha, Akhilesh Prasad Singh and Ashfaq Karim, were also declared winners.
For the six RS seats falling vacant from Maharashtra, four candidates from BJP, including Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, and one each from Congress, National Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena are set to win unopposed. Congress has fielded senior journalist Kumar Ketkar, Shiv Sena is sending Anil Desai to the Upper House and NCP has chosen Vandana Chavan for the job.
In Gujarat, Union ministers Purshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandavia (BJP) and Naran Rathwa and Amee Yajnik (Congress) were declared elected unopposed by the election authorities after BJP's Kiritsinh Rana and Congress-backed Independent PK Valera backed off on the last day of withdrawal of nominations just before the deadline. The election of two official nominees each of the BJP and the Congress was a forgone conclusion given the numerical strength of both the parties in the 182-member Assembly. The ruling BJP has 99 MLAs while the opposition Congress 77. The minimum number of votes required per candidate was 38.
Four candidates of the BJP and one candidate of the Congress were elected unopposed from Madhya Pradesh. The winners include Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Thawar Chand Gehlot. The other candidates are: Kailash Soni and Ajay Pratap Singh of the BJP, and Rajmani Patel from Congress.
In Odisha, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidates Prashant Nanda, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and Achyuta Samanta were declared winners. While the BJD has 118 MLAs in the 147-member Odisha Assembly, the Congress and the BJP have 15 and 10 legislators respectively. As a candidate requires at least 37 first-preference votes to get elected to the Rajya Sabha from the state, as the opposition parties had not fielded any nominee.
In Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam Party (TDP)'s CM Ramesh, Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar and YSR Congress' Vemireddy Prabhakar Reddy were elected to the three seats that fall vacant on April 2. While Ramesh has been elected for the second consecutive term, Kumar and Reddy will be making their debut in the Upper House of Parliament. The TDP's strength in Rajya Sabha remains unaltered at six but the YSRC's strength will increase from one to two consequent to this election.
The three seats in Rajasthan have been claimed by BJP leaders – Dr Kirodi Lal Meena, Bhupendra Yadav and Madan Lal Saini – unopposed. The three were declared winners after Congress decided to not field any candidate in the state and no other candidate filed nominations.
Retired General Dr DP Vats of the BJP was elected unopposed for the lone Rajya Sabha seat after no other candidate filed nominations from the state. The seat is currently occupied by Congress’s Shadi Lal Batra.
BJP candidate Anil Baluni was elected unopposed from the state after he was the only candidate who filed a nomination from the state.