BJP may send Jaitley to Rajya Sabha from UP

Polls to 58 RS seats in 16 states on March 23

Poll panel to hold biennial elections to replace 58 retiring Rajya Sabha members on March 23

BJP leaders said if the total NDA members following the polls are added to tallies of friendly parties like AIADMK, TRS, BJD and YSR, then they will have a majority in the 245-member House.

The seat has fallen vacant following the resignation of Veerendra Kumar.

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Almost a third of the members of the 245-seat Rajya Sabha retire every two years, and the changed numbers would determine the complexion of the House until April 2020. With 311 members (325 with allies) in UP Assembly, BJP and its allies will be clear winners on eight seats, seven more than the last time.

With the Election Commission on Friday announcing dates for elections to 58 Rajya Sabha seats in 16 States, the National Democratic Alliance can look forward to a more comfortable position in the Upper House from April, though it will still not have a majority.

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Of the 10 seats, eight will go to the BJP and and one to the SP. State's chief electoral officer Ashwini Bhagat said the poll process would begin from March 5 with the issuing of election notification. Similarly, three members are retiring from Andhra Pradesh, three from Telangana, four from Gujarat, five from Madhya Pradesh, four from Karnataka, three from Odisha, six from Maharashtra, three from Rajasthan, ten from Uttar Pradesh, six from Bihar, five from West Bengal, two from Jharkhand and one each from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The ruling party now has eight out of 10 Rajya Sabha seats under its fold. "While in the next round of election the bench strength in the House will tilt in the favour of BJP, it is not going to totally change its composition".

The polls will be notified on 5 March. The nominations filed will be scrutinised on March 13, 2018 and last date for the withdrawal of candidature is March 15, 2018. Recently, Akhilesh Yadav had called for opposition unity for the bypolls to two Lok Sabha seats to take on the BJP, but the Congress put up its candidates to decline the offer and BSP showed no inclination either. "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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