New Delhi, Mar 23: The voting for Rajya Sabha Elections 2018 will be held on March 23, Friday. 25 Rajya Sabha seats in six states including Uttar Pradesh will go to polls today. The polling will begin at 9 AM and will continue till 4 PM. The counting of votes for Rajya Sabha Elections 2018 will begin at 5 PM and the results will be announced by today evening. For the 58 Rajya Sabha seats to be filled, 33 candidates from 10 states have been unanimously elected on March 15. Stay tuned with India.com for live news and updates on Rajya Sabha Elections 2018 voting. Also Read - Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan Vows 'Strict Action' Against Culprit After Pregnant Elephant Dies on Being Fed Cracker-Stuffed Pineapple in Malappuram
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded 18 candidates for the biennial polls. Party’s Anil Baluni, the national head of the BJP’s media wing, and Saroj Pandey are in the run for the Rajya Sabha seat in Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh, respectively. Meanwhile, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda has filed nomination papers as the BJP candidate from Himachal Pradesh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley from Uttar Pradesh and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from Bihar. (ALSO READ – Jailed MLA Mukhtar Ansari, Hari Om Yadav Barred From Voting in Uttar Pradesh Rajya Sabha Polls) Also Read - Coronavirus in Karnataka: Health Minister Sriramulu Attends Procession, Social Distancing Norms Flouted | Watch
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot are also in fray for another Rajya Sabha term. Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Mansukh L Mandaviya and Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala will contest from Gujarat. Also Read - Who is Adesh Kumar Gupta? Know in Details About The New BJP Chief of Delhi
The ruling party will also be supported by four-MLA strong Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) and the Apna Dal (Sonelal) which has nine MLAs. Speaking to PTI, national president of Apna Dal (S) Ashish Patel said, “We are standing with the BJP. We had held a meeting of our MLAs and it was decided that we will strongly support the BJP.”
Meanwhile in Congress, Naranbhai Rathwa and Amee Yajnik will contest from Gujarat and Dhiraj Prasad from Jharkhand. On the other hand, Akhilesh Prasad Singh and Lekhram Sahu will contest from Bihar and Chhattisgarh respectively. Rajmani Patel, Kumar Ketkar, Porika Bairam Naik and Abhishek Manu Singhvi are contesting from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana and West Bengal, respectively. Earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that the Trinamool Congress would back Singhvi. Mahendra Prasad Singh and Bashistha Narain Singh are the Janata Dal (United) candidates for the polls.
SP and BSP are also certain about winning one seat each. Samajwadi Party has fielded Jaya Bachchan and BSP – Bhimrao Ambedkar. BSP has 19 MLAs It is short of 18 first preference votes. With Naresh Agarwal’s son Nitin, who is still an SP MLA, likely to cross-vote for the BJP, the task will become difficult for the candidate of the Mayawati’s party. If reports are to be believed, Mayawati has sought a list of SP’s loyal MLAs who will vote for her BSP. She is also banking on some independent MLAs, who have not yet revealed their cards.
(With Agencies inputs)