The Election Commission of India has announced polls to be held for 56 Rajya Sabha seats on February 27 as the tenure of the incumbents including former prime minister Manmohan Singh and BJP President JP Nadda will end in April. All the 56 MPs of the Upper House are retiring by April this year.
The nomination process will begin on February 8, while the last date for filing nominations will be February 15. The voting will take place from 9 am to 4 pm and the counting will be held on the same day from 5 pm onwards.
Those Retiring from the BJP
Amongst other MPs who are retiring from the BJP include Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav and Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
The BJP has a rule in place of not giving an MP more than two Rajya Sabha terms. However, there have been exceptions in the case of former Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad. Prasad, who was in Rajya Sabha from 2000 to 2019 and won the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 from Patna.
It will be interesting to see whether BJP President JP Nadda gets another term in Rajya Sabha. President Nadda has been a member of the upper house since 2012 from the state of Himachal Pradesh. This seat, however, is expected to go to the Congress party in the next term as the grand old party won the state assembly polls last year.
BJP sources said that in the wake of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the party president may be given another Rajya Sabha term and may not be asked to contest Lok Sabha.
Some BJP MPs to Contest Lok Sabha
Apart from Vaishnaw, Pradhan and Bhupender Yadav, the other union ministers including Mansukh Mandaviya, Parshottam Rupala, Narayan Rane, Rajeev Chandrashekar, V Muraleedharan and Dr L Murugan may be asked to contest the upcoming general elections.
While Dharmendra Pradhan is all set to contest from Odisha, his cabinet colleague Ashwini Vaishnaw may also contest the election from the eastern state. In his present term, Pradhan was elected to the upper house from Madhya Pradesh.
Mansukh Mandaviya and Parshottam Rupala may be fielded from Gujarat. While Mandaviya is slated to contest From Bhavnagar, Rupala may be fielded from North Gujarat.
Dr L Murugan is all set to contest from Nilgiri in Tamil Nadu while V Muralidharan may contest from Kerala and Rajeev Chandrasekhar from Karnataka. The fate of Narayan Rane is not known as of now. The party is preparing a seat for Bhupender Yadav in Rajasthan.
“The top brass of the party has asked Union Ministers and sitting MPs from the Rajya Sabha to look for seats to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. If they fall into place, some MPs will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, creating vacancies in the upper house. The party is very keen on giving these Rajya Sabha seats to the hard-working Karyakartas,” a top BJP source told News18.
Early this month, three new members of Parliament have been elected to the upper house from AAP. This includes jailed legislator Sanjay Singh and Swati Maliwal.
The recent win for the BJP in the three Hindi heartland states- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh will only reflect after the biennial polls in 2026 and 2028. In 2025, a total of 8 Rajya Sabha MPs will retire while 73 others will retire in 2026.
Who All Are Retiring?
Others retiring in April include former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi of the Congress and Amar Patnaik of BJD.
Singhvi was able to win the Rajya Sabha elections with support from TMC, Similarly, Ashwini Vaishnaw was elected to the upper house with support from BJD.
In Bihar, RJD members Manoj Kumar Jha and Ahmad Ashfaque Karim, JD(U) members Aneel Prasad Hegde and Bashistha Narain Singh, BJP member Sushil Kumar Modi and Congress member Akhilesh Prasad Singh are completing their tenures in the Rajya Sabha.
BJP MPs Anil Agrawal, Ashok Bajpai, Anil Jain, Kanta Kardam, Sakaldeep Rajbhar, GVL Narasimha Rao, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sudhanshu Trivedi and Harnath Singh Yadav, and Samajwadi Party member Jaya Bachchan from Uttar Pradesh are retiring.
Out of the 56 MPs, YSRCP is expected to retain all 3 seats, TMC is expected to retain 4 out of 5 seats in Bengal while the BJP is expected to gain 1 seat.
Numbers in Rajya Sabha
At present, the BJP has 94 seats in Rajya Sabha, Congress 30, TMC 13, DMK 10, AAP 10, YSRCP and BJD 9 each. While the BRS has seven MPs, RJD has 6 and JD(U) and CPM have 5 MPs each. At present, there are two vacancies out of 12 nominated MPs.
Among the nominated members retiring in July are Mahesh Jethmalani, Sonal Mansingh, Ram Shakal and Rakesh Sinha of the BJP.