Almost a year before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Election Commission of India has announced the polls on 59 Rajya Sabha seats will be held on March 23. This may pave the way for horse-trading, not uncommon in the state during Rajya Sabha elections, when polling is held on March 23.
While the ECI will issue notification for the polls on March 5, the last date for filling nominations has been fixed for March 12.
The last date of withdrawing nominations would be March 15 and elections, if necessary, would be held on March 23, they added.
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The seat has fallen vacant following the resignation of Veerendra Kumar.
Other five members set to retire on April 2 are union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Ravi Shankar Prasad (both of BJP), Mahendra Prasad alias King Mahendra, Bashishtha Narain Singh and Anil Kumar Sahni (all three of JD-U).
With barely a year left in the life of the current Lok Sabha, the changed Rajya Sabha numbers would have more of an impact in the first couple of years of the next Lok Sabha.
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Presently, the Congress and the NCP each have two of these six seats while the BJP and Shiv Sena share the remaining.
In August 2017, the BJP overtook Congress and became the largest political party in the Rajya Sabha.
The Rajya Sabha polls for the tenth seat would, however, give yet another opportunity to the SP, BSP and the Congress to unite for putting up a joint candidate to win. The opposition Samajwadi party can win only one seat on its own strength.
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The BJP will win minimum of 8 out of 10 Rajya Sabha seats on its strength of 325 MLAs along with the two allies -Apna Dal and Suheldeo Bhartiya Samaj Party.