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BJP announced its candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections

(News Trust of India) : The BJP unveiled their nominees for the Rajya Sabha elections on Wednesday. The party additionally declared the candidacies of Union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and L Murugan for the Rajya Sabha from Odisha and Madhya Pradesh, respectively. The national president of the party has been nominated from Gujarat. Ashok Chavan, who enlisted in the party earlier that day, has been chosen as the party’s nominee from Maharashtra.

On Wednesday, the party presented a roster of five hopefuls for the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha, slated for 56 seats across 15 states. From Madhya Pradesh, the BJP has put forth Umesh Nath Maharaj, Maya Narolia, and Bansi Lal Gurjar, alongside Murugan, who serves as the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting. Should Vaishnav and Murugan gain victory, it will represent their second term in the Rajya Sabha. Both are projected to clinch success in the election fray.

Dharmendra Pradhan is not in contention

Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has guaranteed its endorsement to Vaishnaw. In 2019, the BJD similarly sponsored Vaishnaw, a former IAS officer. In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP is poised to gain four seats, with the Congress likely to clinch one. Currently, five seats in the state are held by the BJP. None of the other three existing BJP MPs, including Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, have been renominated by the party. However, the party is likely to field the education minister from his own state of Odisha in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Maya Narlia presides over the Madhya Pradesh section of the party’s Mahila Morcha, Umesh Nath Maharaj is a revered spiritual figure, and Banshilal Gurjar serves as the national vice-president of the Kisan Morcha. Murugan hails originally from Tamil Nadu. The BJP lacks sufficient representation in the Tamil Nadu assembly to secure victory in the Rajya Sabha election from there.

BJP Set to Nominate Certain Union Ministers

Apart from Pradhan, two other Union ministers, Bhupender Yadav and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, are ready to be fielded by the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, as per party sources. Neither has been re-nominated for the ongoing round of Rajya Sabha candidacies. Both Pradhan and Yadav have spent two terms in the Rajya Sabha, while Chandra Shekhar is going on his third term. There has been conjecture that Vaishnaw would potentially run for the Lok Sabha elections from his native Rajasthan. The decision to send him to the Rajya Sabha is supposedly due to his completion of only one term in the Upper House and his excellent rapport with the BJD government in Odisha.

When are the Elections Scheduled?

Several Union ministers predominantly hail from states where the BJP lacks political strength. Sources believe the party will hesitate from selecting him in the Lok Sabha polls due to local political realities. Elections for 56 Rajya Sabha seats are due for February 27, with the deadline for nominations set for February 15. The party is yet to announce the identities of its nominees from certain states, including Gujarat and Maharashtra. Union ministers Mansukh Mandaviya and Purushottam Rupala (Gujarat) and Union minister Narayan Rane (Maharashtra) are also completing their tenure.