Rajya Sabha polls: Will Oppn benefit from big names reaching upper house?

The choice of candidates for the Rajya Sabha election has been interestingly contrasting across parties. The Opposition is looking to add firepower to the upper house of Parliament where the BJP-led NDA lacks a majority of its own.

The BJP, on the other hand, went for grassroots workers or royal appeal as a matter of rule. Of the 24 seats on the offer in Friday’s Rajya Sabha election, the BJP has two candidates with a royal lineage – Jyotiraditya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh and Leisemba Sanajaoba in Manipur.

Five candidates have been elected unopposed – four in Karnataka and one in Arunachal Pradesh. Karnataka has sent former prime minister and a former Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha of the principal Opposition party.

HD DEVE GOWDA

HD Deve Gowda, who was the prime minister during 1996-97, and is a veteran of general election politics, has been elected unopposed. He was a member of the Karnataka Assembly for six consecutive times and in his seventh term, he also became the chief minister of the state.

At 87, Deve Gowda has won his second term in the Rajya Sabha. He contested his first Rajya Sabha election as the prime minister in 1996. He has also won Lok Sabha elections six times.

Considered a leader of the farmers, Deve Gowda’s entry to the Rajya Sabha with the help of the Congress could be a major boost for the Opposition in the upper house at a time when agrarian distress has become one of the weaklings of economy under the Modi government.

MALLIKARJUN KHARGE

Another veteran of the Lok Sabha politics to enter Parliament through the Rajya Sabha route is Mallikarjun Kharge from Karnataka. He was the go-to-man for the Congress and Opposition parties during the first term of the Modi government.

He is considered a consensus builder in the Opposition camp with friends across the political spectrum. During the first term, he led the Opposition attack on the Modi government and was instrumental in bringing together anti-BJP parties for what proved to be an elusive united opposition front.

JYOTIRADITYA SCINDIA

Jyotiraditya Scindia is an old Congressman who crossed over to the BJP after he was sidelined by the Congress leadership. His bond with de-facto Congress high command Rahul Gandhi strained, leading to a parting of ways.

Jyotiraditya Scindia has been vocal over the past couple of years. Having been a Congress insider, he is likely to launch a counter attack on the principal Opposition party in a way that compensates for the BJP’s lack of numerical strength in…

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