The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hopes to increase the number of seats it occupies in the Rajya Sabha after the March 26 election to fill in at least 55 vacancies.
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) have announced the candidates they are fielding for the election. The Congress is holding discussions regarding the candidate they will field and is keeping its members eagerly waiting. However, the BJP has not revealed much in terms of details regarding its candidate.
At the same time, sources from the saffron party said the process of evaluating and selecting potential candidates to represent different states in the Upper House has begun and that the list will be out soon.
A party general secretary was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times, “There are a few names being discussed by state units in consultation with the central leaders; in a day or two, these will be finalised.”
The BJP, which currently has 82 members in the Rajya Sabha, managed to pass a few important bills in the Upper House including the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir, the amendment to the Citizenship Act, the ban on triple talaq and many more, despite not being the single largest party in the House.
The National Democratic Alliance has 97 seats in the Upper House, which falls short of the halfway mark of 245.
The BJP hopes to add at least 12 more seats to the party’s occupation in the Rajya Sabha. Out of the 55 vacancies, 18 seats are from the BJP.
The BJP aims to add one seat each from Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana, and two more from Maharashtra.
A party member told Hindustan Times that there could be a contest for at least three seats in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand.
Meanwhile, the BJP is confident of getting two of the four seats in Gujarat, three in Assam, and one each from Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
According to the list of upcoming retirements by members put out by the Rajya Sabha, there will be seven vacancies from Maharashtra, six from Tamil Nadu, five each from West Bengal and Bihar, four each from Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, three each from Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Rajasthan, two each from Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, and one each from Haryana, Manipur, Assam, and Himachal Pradesh.