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RS elections: Pawar, Athawale among 37 elected unopposed

New Delhi: NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh were among 37 candidates elected unopposed on Wednesday to Rajya Sabha as the deadline for withdrawal of nomination ended.

Nominations had been filed for 55 Rajya Sabha seats in 17 states for the March 26 election.

Out of these, candidates were declared elected unopposed to all seven seats in Maharashtra, six seats in Tamil Nadu, two seats each in Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Telangana; four seats in Odisha, five seats each in Bihar and West Bengal; three seats in Assam and one seat in Himachal Pradesh by the returning officers as no other candidates were in the fray.

Priyanka Chaturvedi, from Shiv Sena, AIADMK leader and former Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai, Tamil Maanila Congress president G K Vasan, veteran lawyer K T S Tulsi and Congress party's Deepender Singh Hooda were among other prominent candidates elected.

The BJP bagged seven seats – two in Haryana, three in Maharashtra and one each in Himachal Pradesh and Bihar. The BJP also bagged the seat in Haryana. Its allies JD(U) got two (from Bihar), AIADMK two (Tamil Nadu) and BPF one (Assam). The Trinamool Congress and the Biju Janata Dal got four each in West Bengal and Odisha respectively. The TRS won the two seats in Telangana.

The Congress got four seats – two in Chhattisgarh and one each in Haryana and Maharashtra. Its allies RJD got two (Bihar), DMK got three (Tamil Nadu), NCP bagged two (Maharashtra) and Shiv Sena got one (Maharashtra). The CPI(M) got one in West Bengal, while an independent candidate, backed by the Congress and AIUDF, was also elected in Assam. Elections will be held on March 26 for the remaining 18 Rajya Sabha seats – four each in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, three each in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, two in Jharkhand and one each in Manipur and Meghalaya.

The others elected from the state were BJP's Udayanraje Bhosale, a descendant of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and Bhagwat Karad; Congress general secretary Rajiv Satav, Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi and former NCP minister Fauzia Khan. In Chhattisgarh, Congress nominees K T S Tulsi and Phulo Devi Netam were declared elected unopposed.

Congress party's Deepender Singh Hooda, who was a three-time Lok Sabh MP from Rohtak, along with BJP

nominees Ram Chander Jangra, a backward class leader, were declared elected from Haryana. They will have a full term till April 2026. BJP vice president Dushyant Kumar Gautam was elected from the seat where bypoll was held following the resignation of BJP leader Birender Singh. His term would last till August 2022. All the four BJD candidates in Odisha – Subhas Singh, Munna Khan, Sujit Kumar and Mamata Mahanta – were declared elected as opposition BJP and Congress did not field any nominee.

All five candidates in Bihar – two each belonging to

the JD(U) and the RJD and one from the BJP – were declared unopposed as no other candidates had filed nomination.

The JD(U) candidates are Harivansh Narayan Singh, currently the deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha, and Ram Nath Thakur, the son of former chief minister Karpoori Thakur, both of whom will be serving their second consecutive terms. BJP candidate Vivek Thakur, a former MLC who makes his parliamentary debut, is the son of former Union minister C P Thakur whose Rajya Sabha tenure ends next month.

The RJD candidates are Prem Chand Gupta, and Amarendra Dhari Singh, an entrepreneur not known for prior involvement in politics.

Former Himachal Pradesh president of the BJP's Mahila Morcha, Indu Goswami, was declared elected unopposed from the lone seat in the state.

In West Bengal, Trinamool Congress candidates Arpita Ghosh, Dinesh Trivedi, Subrata Bakshi and Mausam Noor, and CPI(M)'s Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, backed by the Congress, were declared elected.

In Assam, sitting Bodo Peoples' Front(BPF) MP Biswajit Daimary, BJP's Bhubaneswar Kalita and Congress-AIUDF supported independent candidate and senior journalist Ajit Bhuyan were elected to the upper house. BPF is an ally of ruling BJP. In Telangana, both the candidates of the ruling TRS – Keshava Rao and Suresh Reddy – have been elected.

Besides AIADMK leaders M Thambidurai and K P Munusamy, Tamil Maanila Congress' (Moopanar) chief G K Vasan, DMK's Tiruchi Siva, N R Elango and P Selvarasu were elected in Tamil Nadu.

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