Rajya Sabha seats of 16 states to face elections on March 23

Rajya Sabha seats of 16 states to face elections on March 23

Rajya Sabha seats of 16 states to face elections on March 23

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has declined an offer made by Lalu Yadav's party - the Rashtriya Janata Dal - to get her elected to the Rajya Sabha, saying she did not wish to go to parliament till the BJP has majority in the upper house, Bihar leader Tejashwi Yadav has claimed.

While 10 seats from Uttar Pradesh will be vacated, Maharashtra and Bihar will witness elections for six seats each.

Biennial elections to 58 Rajya Sabha seats in 16 states will be held on March 23.

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Although the BJP is expected to lose a couple of seats in Gujarat and one in Bihar, it is confident of winning at least eight seats in Uttar Pradesh, one in Uttarakhand, one in Rajasthan, two in Jharkhand and one in Haryana. The BJP hopes that it may gain the support of AIADMK 13 and BJD 8 seats in RS, and that could bring it in a position to take on the Opposition on equal footing in the House of elders. In Rajasthan, the BJP could bag all three seats (against now one it holds) and in Maharashtra together with ally Shiv Sena it hopes to corner six seats (against the two they have).

These Rajya Sabha polls could reduce the Congress party's tally by a few more seats.

The Samajwadi Party, which had managed to send six party leaders to Rajya Sabha, including Jaya Bachchan, Kironmoy Nanda, Naresh Agarwal, will have a tough time deciding the name of the candidate as it can send only one party leader to the Upper House with 47 members. It would be a key test of whether the opposition is able to field a common candidate in some seats against the BJP.

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With this, while the Congress-led opposition's numbers will come down to around 115 from the present 123, the numbers of the BJP, its allies and sympathisers together would climb to around 109 from the present 100-odd members.

The polls will be notified on 5 March. Last date of filing nominations is March 12.

Polling will be held in the state assembly from 9am to 4pm on March 23 and the counting of votes would begin there soon after from 5pm. "It will be relatively easier for BJP to collaborate with other political parties and it may sober the opposition parties", said N. Bhaskara Rao, a New Delhi-based political analyst.

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