New Delhi : A tussle has begun among the national office-bearers of the BJP to get into the Rajya Sabha in the biennial elections on March 23.

The party is to gain at least a dozen seats this time, but everyone’s eyes are on Uttar Pradesh where it can easily win 9 out of 10 seats. The party is also in a position to send more members to the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra where 11 seats are falling vacant.

Former Bajrang Dal chief Vinay Katiyar from Ayodhya is the only BJP member among those retiring, seven others from Samajwadi Party and one each from Congress and BSP. He is most likely to be re-elected, leaving room for eight BJP MPs from the state.

The BJP has eight general secretaries but presently only one of them – Bhupender Yadav from Rajasthan – is a Rajya Sabha member.

Those who are staking claim among the general secretaries are Ram Madhav, who shifted from the RSS to the BJP, Anil Jain, Arun Singh, Murlidhar Rao and Kailash Vijayvargiya. Anil Jain is already tipped to be fielded from Haryana to fill the vacancy caused by retirement of a Congress member.

Party vice-president Shyam Jaju may be fielded from Uttarakhand, though the national media in-charge Anil Baluni is also staking claim as he hails from the state.

Party spokesmen who are trying to get into the Upper House include Shahnawaz Hussain, GVL Narsinh Rao, Sudhanshu Tripathi and Vijay Sonkar.

Eight national office-bearers of the party are already members of Parliament starting with party president Amit Shah and three vice-presidents Prabhat Jha, Om Mathur and Vinay Sahastrabuddhe in the Rajya Sabha and three secretaries Jyoti Dhruve, Raman Deka and Mahesh Girri in the Lok Sabha.

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