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HP: BJP likely to wrest Rajya Sabha seat from Congress

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Press Trust of India Shimla
The ruling BJP in Himachal Pradesh is likely to wrest the Rajya Sabha seat from the opposition Congress, the voting for which will be held on March 26.
One of the three Rajya Sabha seats from Himachal Pradesh will fall vacant as Vipolve Thakur of the Congress will retire from the Upper House of Parliament on April 9.
The other two Rajya Sabha seats from the hill state are being currently represented by BJP national president Jagat Prakash Nadda and senior Congress leader Anand Sharma.
Nadda will retire from the Rajya Sabha in 2024, whereas Sharma's term will end in 2022.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to conduct the election for this seat along with 54 Rajya Sabha seats of 17 states on March 26.
Rajya Sabha members are elected indirectly as members of the Upper House of Parliament representing the state are elected by MLAs of that state.
The BJP is likely to bag the Rajya Sabha seat as it has a total of 44 MLAs in the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly. Two independent MLAs are supporting the BJP. The opposition Congress has only 21 members, whereas the CPI(M) has one MLA.
The BJP is likely to nominate its former state president Satpal Satti, party sources said.
When contacted, Satti told PTI, "Whatever responsibility the party will assign me, I will carry out that with full dedication."

During Satti's tenure as the state president for about eight years till January 16 this year, the BJP won all the four seats in 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections and secured 44 seats in the 68-member House in the 2017 assembly elections.
In reply to a question, he said, "The credit for excellent performance by the party during my tenure as state president goes to the entire leadership and workers."

However, some other BJP leaders are also eyeing the party ticket for the Upper House of Parliament.
State BJP chief spokesperson Randhir Sharma had told PTI on Tuesday that the process of finalising the name of the BJP candidate was on.
Himachal Congress president Kuldeep Rathore said the name of the candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat will be finalised soon.
As per the election schedule issued by the ECI on Tuesday, the nomination for the Rajya Sabha would be filed till March 13 after notification on March 6. The scrutiny will be held on March 16, whereas last date for withdrawal will be March 18.
Voting will be held from 9 am to 4 pm on March 26.

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First Published: Feb 26 2020 | 8:22 PM IST

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