Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, his deputy Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Power Minister Piyush Goyal are among the Bharatiya Janata Party’s picks for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls. The party on Sunday announced its nominees for 12 seats from states where it has a high MLA count, The Hindu reported.
Naidu has been nominated from Rajasthan, Naqvi from Jharkhand, Sitharaman from Karnataka and Goyal from Maharashtra. Union Rural Development Minister Birendra Singh has been re-nominated from Haryana. The BJP has to name its candidates for four other seats before the May 31 deadline.
Like Singh, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s term from Haryana also ends in August, but he is not part of the list released for the Upper House elections on June 11, when 56 seats go to the polls. A senior BJP official said, “There are, as of now, two more seats in Maharashtra to be decided, one seat each from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and one possible seat from Andhra Pradesh if the Telugu Desam Party transfers some votes to us.”
Former BJP chief of the Bihar unit Gopal Narayan Singh was a surprise on the list as senior party leader Sushil Modi was seen as the favourite for a seat, but was snubbed. Anil Madhav Dave has been re-nominated from Madhya Pradesh, and BJP general secretary and Uttar Pradesh in-charge Om Mathur will contest from Rajasthan. Harsh Vardhan Singh and Ram Kumar Verma were also fielded from the state. From Chhattisgarh, the party has nominated Ram Vichar Netam. It chose Purushottam Rupala from Gujarat for the remainder of the term of the seat held by Congress leader Praveen Rashtrapal who died recently.