Sharad Pawar, Digvijaya Singh, Kumari Selja among 37 elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha

Sharad Pawar, Digvijaya Singh, Kumari Selja among 37 elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha

File photo of Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

New Delhi:  NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Congress leaders Motilal Vora, Digvijaya Singh, Murli Deora and Kumari Selja, RPI's Ramdas Athavale and Vijay Goel of BJP were among the 37 candidates elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha today from various states in the biennial polls.

Elections will be held in the remaining 18 seats on February 7 in Andhra Pradesh (6), West Bengal (5), Odisha (4) and Assam (3).

Sanjay Singh, whose candidature has sparked of protests in Assam, Congress' T Subbrami Reddy and K V P Ramachandra Rao and TRS candidate Keshav Rao (all in Andhra Pradesh) and Trinamool candidate actor Mithun Chakraborty (West Bengal) are among those left in the fray.

Union minister Pawar, who decided to keep away from Lok Sabha elections, and Deora were among the seven candidates elected from Maharashtra.

The other candidates were: Majid Memon (NCP), Hussain Dalwai (Congress), Rajkumar Dhoot (Shiv Sena), Sanjay Kakade (Independent) and Athavale, who was supported by BJP.

In Rajasthan, BJP nominee Goel, who is Delhi unit chief, Ram Narain Dudi and Narain Pachariya were the successful candidates .

Bihar sent five candidates - three from ruling JD(U) and two from BJP. The five are - Ramnath Thakur, Harivansh, Kahkasha Parveen (all from JD(U)), C P Thakur and R K Sinha (BJP). All the three JD(U) candidates are new faces.

In Tamil Nadu, the ruling AIADMK bagged four seats while DMK and CPI-M got one each.

L Sasikala Pushpa, Vijila Satyananth, S Muthukaruppan and AK Selvaraj (AIADMK), DMK's Tiruchi N Siva and TK Rangarajan of CPI-M were elected.

While Rangarajan has been re-elected, Siva had been a member of the Upper House in the past.

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, who ended his 10-year self-proclaimed exile from electoral politics after losing in Madhya Pradesh as Chief Minister, along with BJP vice-president Prabhat Jha and party leader Satya Narayan Jatiya were elected from the state.

Former Union Minister Selja of Congress and opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) candidate Ram Kumar Kashyap were elected from Haryana.

From Gujarat, Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry and three new faces from BJP Shambhuprasad Tundiya, Chunibhai Gohil and Lalsinh Vadodiya have been sent to Rajya Sabha.

Former Union Minister Prem Chand Gupta of RJD and sitting MP Parimal Nathwani were successful in Jharkhand.

Congress candidates Abdul Salam (Manipur), sitting MP Wansuk Syiem (Meghalaya) and Viplov Thakur (Himchal Pradesh) also made it to the upper house.

In Andhra Pradesh, which is in turmoil over Telangana issue, seven candidates including a Congress rebel, are in fray for six seats. It is after 1999 that the Rajya Sabha election in the state would witness a contest, Legislature sources said.

Only one of the two rebel candidates - K V V Satyanarayana Raju alias Chaitanya Raju - has withdrawn his nomination while another, Adala Prabhakar Reddy, refused to budge despite strong pressure from the Congress leadership.

Adala, who is currently an MLA, jumped into the Rajya Sabha election fray on the "Samaikya Andhra Pradesh" (United AP) plank, backed by senior-most legislator J C Diwakar Reddy and others.

Four candidates are in the fray for three seats in Assam - sitting Congress and Bodo Peoples' Front (BPF) MPs Bhubaneswar Kalita and Biswajit Daimary respectively along with the other Congress nominee Sanjay Sinh and combined opposition candidate Haidar Hussain, Assam assembly Principal Secretary G P Das said.

A sitting Lok Sabha MP from Sultanpur, Sinh's nomination sparked off protests by political parties and other organisations including the AASU, KMSS and AJYCP.

In a rare show of unity, three opposition parties of the state assembly - BJP, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) - came together to nominate noted journalist Haidar Hussain as the fourth candidate as a protest against Singh's nomination.

Five candidates, including three ruling BJD legislators, remained in the race for four seats from Odisha. While the three BJD MLAs - Kalpataru Das, Ananga Uday Singhdeo and Sarojini Hembram - are set to have a smooth sailing in the polls, there would be a contest for the fourth seat between BJD backed Independent candidate, renowned sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra and IPL Chairman and Congress nominee Ranjib Biswal.

Six candidates are in fray for five seats in West Bengal along with Mithun, painter Jogen Chowdhury and Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand who resigned to contest from West Bengal, K D Singh, are among the candidates of the ruling Trinamool Congress.

The party's nominee for the fourth seat is journalist, Ahmed Hassan. Congress is backing sitting RS member Ahmad Saeed Malihabadi as an Independent nominee.

The CPI(M) has fielded Ritabrata Banerjee, General Secretary of the CPI(M)'s student wing, SFI.

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