Rajya Sabha Elections: Who Has Nominated Whom? Key Names From Leading Political Parties

The Rajya Sabha election is slated for February 27 and the last date for filing nominations is February 15.


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Newly elected Members of Rajya Sabha maintain social distance during the oath ceremony at the Parliament House in 2020 (Representative image) Photo: Getty Images

With the date for biennial elections to fill 56 seats of Rajya Sabha drawing close, the BJP has decided not to renominate several senior leaders and outgoing Rajya Sabha MPs, including seven Union ministers like Dharmendra Pradhan and Bhupender Yadav. The development has come amid strong indications that several of these leaders may be asked to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The Rajya Sabha election is slated for February 27 and the last date for filing nominations is February 15, i.e. today.

With the ruling party naming 28 candidates for the elections to 56 seats, their profiles underscore the BJP's determination to recognise its grassroots organisation workers, who might not be much known in outside political circles, while factoring in social equations as well.


Among the 28 outgoing MPs, the BJP has renominated only four - its national president JP Nadda, two Union ministers and an articulate national spokesperson in Sudhanshu Trivedi - sending a strong signal that its Rajya Sabha members cannot take their high-profile perch for granted and are expected to use the platform to connect with the masses and cultivate constituencies of their own. Ashwini Vaishnaw and L Murugan are the ministers who have been renominated.

Who are the other BJP nominees?

Three of the new names - Dharmshila Gupta of Bihar, Medha Kulkarni of Maharashtra and Maya Naroliya of Madhya Pradesh - announced by the BJP are associated with the party's 'Mahila Morcha' (women's wing).


The BJP's latest list of candidates for the biennial Rajya Sabha polls has four nominees from two western states -- one for Gujarat and three for Maharashtra. Nadda is currently a Rajya Sabha member from Himachal Pradesh but the BJP does not have the numbers to win the lone seat from the Congress-ruled state. So, he has been nominated from Gujarat.

The BJP, part of the ruling 'Mahayuti' coalition in Maharashtra, has nominated new entrant and former Congress stalwart and ex-CM Ashok Chavan, ex-MLA Medha Kulkarni, and RSS worker Dr Ajit Gopchade. Chavan joined the BJP on Tuesday, a day after quitting the Congress.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Mansukh Mandaviya, Parshottam Rupala, Narayan Rane and V Muraleedharan are five other ministers whose term is ending in the Upper House and who have not been renominated by the BJP.

Other senior leaders who have not been repeated are the party's chief spokesperson and media head Anil Baluni, former Union minister Prakash Javadekar and former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.

Several of them are being discussed within the party's circles as probable candidates for the Lok Sabha elections expected to be held in April-May.

Who are Congress's nominees?

The Congress on Wednesday nominated noted lawyer Abhishek Singhvi for Rajya Sabha polls from Himachal Pradesh, while also officially declaring former party chief Sonia Gandhi's candidature from Rajasthan.


According to a statement, the party has also renominated its Bihar unit chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh from the state.

"Congress President Shri Mallikarjun Kharge has approved the candidature of the following persons as Congress candidates to contest the biennial elections to the Council of States from the states," said the statement which also carried the names.

The party has fielded its leader Chandrakant Handore from Maharashtra.

Sonia Gandhi filed her nomination papers from in Jaipur, Rajasthan yesterday.

It has also announced Ashok Singh’s name as the Congress candidate from Madhya Pradesh, ending days of speculations that former CM Kamal Nath could be sent to the Upper House.


Ajit Pawar-led NCP's nomination for RS

In a surprise move, the Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Wednesday said it would field senior leader Praful Patel for the upcoming election to the Rajya Sabha even though he is already a member of the Upper House of Parliament.

Patel has four years of his Rajya Sabha term left, but the decision to field him again was taken due to some "technical issues", the party's Maharashtra unit chief Sunil Tatkare said.

The former Union minister, who is currently the NCP's working president, will resign from his existing membership of the House after getting elected and take oath afresh, Tatkare added.


Tatkare did not elaborate on the exact reasons for the decision or reveal the "technical issues".

The announcement came a day before the Maharashtra Speaker is scheduled to announce a decision on disqualification petitions filed by warring NCP camps after Ajit Pawar split the Sharad Pawar-led party last year.

Earlier this month, the Election Commission recognised the Ajit Pawar faction as the real NCP.

Patel was elected to Rajya Sabha in June 2022 and would have had a term until 2028.

Maharashtra RS polls 

The upcoming election to six seats of Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra is likely to see candidates getting elected unopposed considering the strength of the ruling allies and the opposition Congress in the Assembly, unlike the May 2022 scenario when the Maha Vikas Aghadi faced a setback despite being in power at that time.


Six seats from Maharashtra are up for grabs as the terms of the sitting MPs are expiring. 

BJP's ally Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has fielded former Congress MP Milind Deora, while Congress picked former state minister Chandrakant Handore. 

The suspense, however, continues over the sixth candidate as the Ajit Pawar-led NCP has not opened its cards. 

The 'Mahayuti' (grand alliance) comprises the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and the Ajit Pawar-helmed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the 'Mahayuti' candidates will file their nominations on February 15.


With the existing strength of 284 MLAs, each RS seat needs a quota of 41 votes in the Maharashtra assembly to win.

Considering the strength of the BJP, which has 105 MLAs and is believed to enjoy the support of some Independents and other smaller allies, it can send three members to the Upper House of Parliament.

The Shiv Sena headed by Eknath Shinde, Ajit Pawar-led NCP, and the opposition Congress can win one seat each.

The Shiv Sena has 40 members in the Assembly and the Ajit Pawar-led NCP has 45. The opposition Congress has 43 MLAs.

TMC nominees for RS

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) announced the names of journalist Sagarika Ghose, party leader Sushmita Dev and two others including Nadimul Haque, a two-time Rajya Sabha MP, for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls from the state. Ghose, a renowned journalist, is yet to officially join the TMC.


Former Congress leader Dev, who had joined the TMC in 2021, has been the party’s Rajya Sabha MP from October 2021 to August 2023, after TMC leader Manas Bhunia vacated the seat to join the West Bengal cabinet.

However, the nomination that has captured significant attention is that of former Lok Sabha MP and Matua leader Mamata Bala Thakur. A two-time Lok Sabha MP, Thakur faced defeat in the Matua-dominated Bongaon seat to BJP’s Shantanu Thakur, a relative, in 2019.

Thakur’s nomination comes amidst BJP’s efforts to court the Matua community with promises of implementing the CAA ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The Matua community’s cohesive voting behaviour makes them a crucial voting bloc, particularly aligned with the BJP’s stance on the CAA.


However, the party’s decision to not renominate three sitting MPs — Subhasish Chakraborty, Abir Biswas, and Santanu Sen — marks a notable shift in the party’s strategy.

RJD fields nominations for Lok Sabha polls

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidate Manoj Kumar Jha and Sanjay Yadav on Thursday filed their nomination papers for Rajya Sabha polls in the presence of party president Lalu Prasad.

Jha, who is also the party’s national spokesman, is tipped to enjoy his second consecutive term in Rajya Sabha. Sanjay Yadav, a close aide of Tejashwi Yadav, will be making his Parliamentary debut.

(With PTI inputs)