So far, 33 candidates from 10 states have been elected unopposed, PTI reported. Seven Union ministers, including Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar were among them.
The 58 Rajya Sabha members whose terms are ending come from 16 states – Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Earlier this month, the BJP announced Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as its candidate from Uttar Pradesh, Health Minister JP Nadda from Himachal Pradesh, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from Bihar and Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot and Petrol and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan from Madhya Pradesh.
Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Mansukh L Mandaviya and Minister of State for Panchayati Raj, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala were nominated for two seats from Gujarat. The BJP nominated Bhupender Yadav for a Rajya Sabha seat from Rajasthan.
The Congress has fielded some heavyweights too, including Abhishek Manu Singhvi from West Bengal. The state’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee earlier said her party, the Trinamool Congress, would back Singhvi, ANI reported.
In Uttar Pradesh – which has the most number of vacancies at 10 – the Samajwadi Party and the Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party also said they were certain of winning a seat each, PTI reported. The Samajwadi Party nominated Jaya Bachchan, while the BSP fielded Dalit leader Bhimrao Ambedkar. Earlier, Mayawati had said that the Congress had agreed to support her nominee for Uttar Pradesh, in return for BSP’s support to the Congress candidate in Madhya Pradesh.
The votes will be counted at 5 pm, an hour after polling ends.
The Rajya Sabha has a total strength of 245 members of which 233 are representatives of the states and union territories while the remaining 12 are nominated by the president.