NEW DELHI: Hours after Rajiv Kumar was announced as new chief election commissioner (CEC), the apex poll body on Thursday declared polls for 57 Rajya Sabha seats which will fall vacant during June-August period this year.
The elections is crucial for both BJP and regional parties as the saffron party last month become the first outfit to touch the 100-member in the upper house since 1988 already, in an indication of growing juggernaut and might in both houses.
Among the prominent ministers whose term expires and will see renewal are Union textiles and commerce and industries minister Piyush Goyal, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman from the BJP as well as former UPA1 & 2-era ministers P Chidambram, Kapil Sibal, Ambika Soni and Jairam Ramesh.
It’s not clear if Congress will field any of these heavyweights again considering the Grand Old Party (GOP) is holding its chintan shivir in Udaipur to bring a raft of reforms after a bad fall-out with strategist Prashant Kishor, with whom the deal to bring party makeover failed despite several rounds of presentations and meetings.
Rashtriya Janta Dal’s sitting MP Misa Bharti and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)’s Satish Mishra will also see their terms expire.
Last month, five Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) nominees for the Rajya Sabha polls were elected unopposed from Punjab after regional party’s stellar performance of 92 seats in the 117-member assembly
AAP had nominated party leader Raghav Chadha, election strategist Sandeep Pathak, cricketer Harbhajan Singh, Lovely Professional University Chancellor Ashok Mittal and industrialist Sanjeev Arora for the March 31 elections to Rajya Sabha.
Elections for RS are also a party’s strategy to keep the industrialists and men with illustrious careers on their side.