Union Ministers M Venkaiah Naidu, Birender Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi are among the 12 candidates nominated by the BJP for the Rajya Sabha elections to be held on June 11. Others fielded by the party for the biennial elections to the Upper House include its vice presidents Om Prakash Mathur and Purushottam Rupala, who have been nominated from Rajasthan and Gujarat respectively.
BJP has picked former state unit president Gopal Narain Singh as its nominee from Bihar. There was speculation that former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi could be its choice for the one seat in the state it can win.
Naidu, Singh, Sitharaman, Goyal and Naqvi will be its candidates from Rajasthan, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharshtra and Jharkhand, a party statement said. Other nominees are Harsh Vardhan Singh and Ram Kumar Verma from Rajasthan, Anil Madhav Dave from Madhya Pradesh and Ramvichar Netam from Chhattisgarh. With May 31 being the last date for filing nomination, the party is set to announce the names of more candidates soon.
The tenure of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu is also coming to an end and he is expected to be nominated again. BJP sources said general secretary Ram Madhav and vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe are also in contention for party ticket. The term of noted journalist M J Akbar, a Rajya Sabha MP, is also ending.
Biennial polls are being held for 57 seats and 14 BJP members are retiring. It is expected to win 18-19 seat due to its sizeable strength in states like Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Haryana.