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43 first-timers enter Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: As the results for 61 vacancies in Rajya Sabha declared on Friday, 43 first-timers have entered the Rajya Sabha that accounts for 72 per cent of the seats being filled up.

According to a senior official in the Research Division of Rajya Sabha Secretariat, against the 61 vacancies in 20 states, 42 were already elected unopposed, including 28 first-timers. Of the remaining 19 vacancies for which results declared on Friday, 15 first-timers have been elected as members of the Upper House.

With only 12 retiring members being re-elected and another seven members with past experience of the Upper House returning to the House, the collective experience of the members of Rajya Sabha will drop by as many as 63 terms.

The 61 retiring members have a total experience of 95 terms ranging from one to four terms in Rajya Sabha, the winners come with a total experience of only 32 terms resulting in a decline in the total experience of 63 terms, the official said.

Prominent leaders who have entered Rajya Sabha for the first time include, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Mallikarjun Kharge, M Tambi Durai (former Dy Speaker of Lok Sabha), KC Venugopal (former Lok Sabha Member) and KR Suresh Reddy (former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of composite Andhra Pradesh state).

The 12 sitting members who have been re-elected include Bhubaneswar Kalita (for 5th term), Premchand Gupta (5th term), Tiruchi Shiva (4th term), K Keshava Rao, Biswajit Daimary and Parimal Nathwani (all for 3rd term), Sharad Pawar, Ramdas Athawale, Harivansh, Digvijaya Singh, KTS Tulsi and Ramnath Thakur (all for the second term).

There are six members entering Rajya Sabha having been earlier members of the Upper House include GK Vasan, Dinesh Trivedi and Nabam Rabia (all for the third term), Deve Gowda, Shibu Soren and Omkar Singh Lakhawat both for the second term.

State-wise, the four members who retired from Karnataka had a total experience of nine terms in Rajya Sabha while the new incumbents have a total experience of only one term in the election of Deve Gowda with the other three being first-timers. In the case of Maharashtra, seven members with a collective experience of 10 terms retired, while new incumbents account for an experience of only two terms in the re-election of Sharad Pawar and Ramdas Athawale.

The drop in the total experience in respect of four vacancies in Andhra Pradesh is six terms followed by five terms in respect of six vacancies in Tamil Nadu, four terms in case of four vacancies in Gujarat and four terms in Odisha with all the four new members being first-timers.

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