Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Notification issued for elections to 3 Rajya Sabha seats in Odisha

Notification issued for elections to 3 Rajya Sabha seats in Odisha

The Bhartiya Janata Party on Wednesday shifted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley from Gujarat to Uttar Pradesh and Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan from Bihar to Madhya Pradesh in the first list of its nine candidates in the ensuing Rajya Sabha elections, all of whom are retiring members, including eight union ministers. While Pradhan is now a member from Bihar, Javadekar is from Madhya Pradesh.

Other Union ministers being fielded are Thawar Chand Gehlot, Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Parshottam Rupala, Jagat Prakash Nadda and Ravi Shankar Prasad.

For the BJP, the choice is likely to be hard as it may get to retain only two ministers, and may possibly have to shift one of its ministers to another state, a party source said.

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BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav has been nominated from Rajasthan. The BJP is also slated to get one seat.

The source said that Mr Pitroda's name has cropped up in the discussions only to strengthen the Congress talent pool in the Rajya Sabha, where the party's strength will decline from the present tally of 58 seats. Polling to elect four members to the Rajya Sabha will be held on March 23 in Karnataka. These include Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. The last date for filing nominations is March 12.

Pradhan, who hails from Odisha, was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar in 2012. For the then election to three seats, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel was one of the candidates. The candidature of Pradhan was announced by the Central Election Committee of the BJP. As soon as the House met for the day, members from various parties, including TDP, Shiv Sena, TRS, YSR Congress, AIADMK and TMC started raising slogans on their respective issues, following which Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the proceedings for an hour.

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