Polling for 26 Rajya Sabha seats in seven states will begin at 9 this morning. It will continue till 4 PM. The states are Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Kerala. The counting of votes will be taken up after the voting ends.
In Uttar Pradesh, 11 candidates are contesting 10 seats. The ruling BJP has fielded nine candidates, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have one candidate each.
In West Bengal, six candidates, including Congress nominee Abhisek Manu Singhvi, are in the fray for 5 seats. Three candidates are in the fray for two seats in Jharkhand while five candidates are in the field in Karnataka for four seats.
Four candidates are trying their luck from Telangana for three seats. The state’s ruling TRS has fielded three candidates and Congress one. The opposition BJP and TDP Telangana Unit said they will stay away from the polls.
A bypoll will also be held today for one seat in Kerala, where M P Veerendra Kumar, the Left-backed candidate of Sharad Yadav faction of the JD(U), is pitted against Babu Prasad of the Congress. The bypoll was necessitated because of Veerendra Kumar’s resignation from the Rajya Sabha to protest against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to return to the NDA fold which created the vacancy.