The upcoming Rajya Sabha elections scheduled for February 27 in Uttar Pradesh are poised to witness a strategic play by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), reminiscent of the arithmetic manoeuvres witnessed in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
With the terms of 10 Rajya Sabha MPs from Uttar Pradesh set to expire in April, including prominent figures from the BJP, the party is carefully considering its choices for replacements.
Outgoing Rajya Sabha MPs from Uttar Pradesh
Among the outgoing Rajya Sabha MPs from Uttar Pradesh, one notable name is Sudhanshu Trivedi, the national spokesman of the BJP, alongside Vijay Pal Tomar, who has been named as the election in-charge for Odisha. Former heavyweight of the Samajwadi Party, now BJP MP Ashok Bajpai, and Dalit leader Kanta Kardam from western Uttar Pradesh are also among those whose terms are there in the outgoing MPs list.
Speculation is rife that Kumar Vishwas, a poet and a big figure from western Uttar Pradesh, could be among the BJP's picks for the upcoming elections. Vishwas, known for his association with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and his recent praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary speech, has emerged as a potential contender, though the final decision rests with the party leadership.
Not all outgoing MPs will be repeated
"It has been speculated for a while now, and it is almost certain that not all outgoing MPs will be repeated," a BJP insider revealed. "Each replacement is meticulously planned, considering factors such as caste representation and alignment with the party's agenda, particularly in light of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls."
In a bid to ensure maximum representation across various sections of society, the BJP is likely to introduce some fresh faces into the mix at the last minute. Party leaders indicated that a panel of names would be sent to the BJP high command, emphasizing the importance of including individuals who resonate with different segments of the electorate.
"The final choice will reflect the meticulous approach of the party, comprising loyalists, turncoats, and even some Lok Sabha MPs who may not contest the 2024 elections," stated a senior BJP leader. "It is a blend aimed at maximizing the party's strength and appeal across the state."
Among the outgoing Rajya Sabha members, other notable names include OBC leader Sakaldeep Rajbhar, national spokesman GVL Narasimha Rao, and veteran leader Anil Jain. Additionally, businessman Anil Agarwal and senior leader Harnath Singh Yadav, who recently called for the scrapping of the Places of Worship Act 1991, are also part of the mix.