The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday announced the dates for the election to the Rajya Sabha for the states whose tenure is ending soon. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Rajasthan will elect MPs to 55 seats in the Upper House of Parliament on March 26.
According to the notification issued by the ECI, the election notification for Rajya Sabha will be released on March 6 and the filing of nominations will begin on March 16. The last date for filing nomination papers is March 18. While the voting will be held from 9 am to 4 pm on March 26, the counting of votes will happen on the same day at 5 pm.
The elections are due since the tenure of the six Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu are ending on April 2. Along with Tamil Nadu, 16 other states will also elect new Rajya Sabha members on March 26. A total of 55 Rajya Sabha seats from 17 states will fall vacant in April 2020.
DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, CPI (M)’s TK Rangarajan, AIADMK’s Vijila Sathyananth, Muthukaruppan, K Selvaraj and BJP’s Sasikala Pushpa (who recently left the AIADMK to join BJP) are the MPs from Tamil Nadu whose six-year tenure ends on April 2. Based on the current party-wise composition of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, the AIADMK and the DMK each will get three MPs each in the Rajya Sabha.
Tamil Nadu has 18 Rajya Sabha seats based on the strength of the state Legislature. Apart from the six members due to retire in April, the AIADMK has six MPs in the Rajya Sabha. The DMK has four MPs while the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and the Marumarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) has one MP each at present in the Upper House of the Parliament.
At present, the AIADMK has 136 Members in the state Legislative Assembly while the DMK and its allies have 97 members. AMMK’s TTV Dhinakaran is the remaining MLA in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.
For the BJP, getting a majority in the Rajya Sabha will remain a challenge following successive defeats in state Assembly Elections including Delhi, Maharashtra and Jharkhand.