BJP announces candidates for RS polls, Jaitley shifted to UP
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday renominated to Rajya Sabha all the eight union ministers including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Apart from the ministers, the party also renominated its general secretary and key stratagist Bhupender Yadav from Rajasthan.
While Jaitley has been nominated as a candidate for the upper House from Uttar Pradesh, Javadekar has been shifted to his home state Maharashtra from Madhya Pradesh. Jaitley is currently a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has been shifted to Madhya Pradesh from Bihar.
Apart from these three, six others including Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot, will contest the March 23 Rajya Sabha polls from the states which they are currently representing in the House.
The party on Wednesday announced two lists of nine candidates after the Central Election Committee gave its approval.
Prasad has been renominated from Bihar while Gehlot from native Madhya Pradesh. Health Minister J.P. Nadda has been renominated from Himachal Pradesh.
Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala and Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Bhai Mandaviya have been renominated from Gujarat.
All these eight ministers of the Modi Cabinet are retiring from the Rajya Sabha.
The name of Javadekar figured in the second list of candidates announced by the party here on Wednesday.
Jaitley, who has been representing Gujarat, will re-enter to the Upper House from Uttar Pradesh as the party decided to renominate Rupala and Mandaviya from the state.
As per the numbers in the Gujarat Assembly, only two members from the BJP can be sent to the Rajya Sabha. So, the party opted to nominate Jaitley from Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP, on its own, can send back only one of the two retiring members -- Prasad and Pradhan -- from Bihar. It, therefore, opted to renominate Prasad from the state and shifted Pradhan to Madhya Pradesh.
Voting to elect 58 members to the Rajya Sabha from different states will take place on March 23. The last date for filing nominations is March 12. March 15 is the last date for withdrawal of candidature.
There are 10 vacancies from Uttar Pradesh, six each from Bihar and Maharashtra, five each from Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, four each from Gujarat and Karnataka, three each from Odisha, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, two from Jharkhand and one each from Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
All the nine candidates are likely to win the elections.