The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday released its first list of 14 candidates for the biennial Rajya Sabha elections, including renominating Sudhanshu Trivedi and sending former Union minister RPN Singh to the Upper House. Singh, a Union minister in the United Progressive Alliance government, crossed to the BJP from the Congress in January 2022.
The BJP's list indicated that it could deny renominating several of its sitting Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament. It didn't field former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi from the state. Modi's term, along with 55 others, ends on April 3. “I will always be grateful to the party and will work as before,” Modi posted on 'X', congratulating Bhim Singh and Dharmsheela Gupta for the party's nomination from Bihar. The elections, if needed, will be held on February 27. From Karnataka, where party Member of Parliament and Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar's term ends on April 3, the party has fielded Narayana Krishanasa Bhandage. The list does not mention Chandrasekhar. The BJP can only win one of the four seats falling vacant from the state.
The BJP announced seven candidates from Uttar Pradesh, including Trivedi and Singh. Barring Trivedi, a sitting Member of Parliament, the party has denied a second term to its other sitting Rajya Sabha members from Uttar Pradesh who are set to retire on April 3, including Anil Jain, Harnath Singh Yadav, and GVL Narasimha Rao. It has fielded Agra businessman Navin Jain and backward caste leaders Amarpal Maurya and Sangeeta Balwant, among others.
The party fielded its Jat leader, Subhash Barala, from Haryana, instead of its sitting Member of Parliament, DP Vats, and nominated Mahendra Bhatt instead of sitting Member of Parliament Anil Baluni from Uttarakhand. From West Bengal, the party has fielded former legislator Samik Bhattacharya to one of the five Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant from that state.
Earlier in the day, the Trinamool Congress announced candidates for the other four, including party leaders Mohammed Nadimul Haque, Mamata Thakur, Susmita Dev, and journalist Sagarika Ghosh. The Trinamool has renominated Haque. Dev joined the Trinamool in 2021 from the Congress. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi is a Congress Rajya Sabha member from Bengal whose term ends on April 3. In 2018, the Trinamool had helped send Singhvi to the Rajya Sabha.
From Chhattisgarh, the BJP has fielded Raja Devendra Pratap Singh, a tribal leader, dropping its sitting Member of Parliament Saroj Pandey.