Elections to 59 RS seats on March 23

NEW DELHI, Feb 23:  Polls to 59 Rajya Sabha seats will be held on March 23, the Election Commission announced today.
Following the elections, the BJP’s strength in the Upper House is expected to rise.
Fifty-eight Rajya Sabha seats will be falling vacant in April while a by-poll for a seat from Kerala will also be held. M P Veerendra Kumar had resigned in December last year, though his term was to end in April 2022.
The elections will take place on March 23 and the counting of votes will be held on the same evening, the commission said in a statement.
The members, whose terms are ending, include Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Dharmendra Pradhan, J P Nadda, Thaawar Chand Gehlot and Ramdas Athawale.
In August 2017, the BJP had overtaken the Congress to become the largest political party in Rajya Sabha with 58 members against 57 of the main opposition party.
In Uttar Pradesh, where 10 seats are up for grabs, the BJP was likely to gain the most.
While nine members, including Jaya Bachchan (SP) and Pramod Tiwari (Cong) from UP are retiring on April 2, election for one seat vacated by BSP supremo Mayawati last year will also be held.
The States from where members are retiring are Uttar Pradesh (10), Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Rajasthan (three each), Bihar and Maharashtra (six each), West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh (five each), Karnataka and Gujarat (four each), Jharkhand (two), and Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand (one each). (PTI)