6 ministers' RS term ends this year; Cong strength likely to go down

6 ministers' RS term ends this year; Cong strength likely to go down

Rajya Sabha terms of six Union ministers – M Venkaiah Naidu, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Suresh Prabhu, Piyush Goel, Nirmala Sitharaman and Birender Singh – will come to an end in the middle of this year.

While M Venkaiah Niadu and Nirmala Sitharaman’s tenure comes to an end in June, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Piyush Goel’s in July and Suresh Prabhu and Birender Singh will enr in July. 

BJP sources said it is unlikely that these ministers will find it difficult to extend their stay in the Upper House though in some cases the states they would represent might be different from the existing ones.

Of the 74 Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant, including five in the nominated category, in 20 states, majority are represented as of now by two national parties – 21 from the Congress and 15 from the BJP. Three seats occupied by independent members will also be up for grabs. It is learnt that the strength of the Congress would go down slightly when the vacancies are filled given that the opposition party has done badly in Assembly elections to the states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. 

Important Congress leaders whose terms are ending include –  Jairam Ramesh (AP), Mohsina Kidwai (Chhattisgarh), Oscar Fernandes (Karnataka), A K Antony (Kerala), Ashwani Kumar and Ambika Soni (both from Punjab), Anand Sharma (Rajasthan), Satish Sharma (UP) and Mani Shankar Aiyar (nominated category).

Eleven seats alone would be up for elections from Uttar Pradesh, followed by seven from Punjab, six each from Maharastra and Tamil Nadu, five from Bihar, four each from Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.

The RJD, which formed the government in Bihar in alliance with the JDU and the Congress, is expected to get at least two of its members elected to Bihar out of the total five. All these seats are now occupied by JDU leaders – prominent among them are party president Sharad Yadav, K C Tyagi and Pavan Kumar Varma. The BJP is also trying to grab a seat from Bihar in the Upper House.

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