New Delhi: Elections for more than 70 Rajya Sabha seats will be held this year with 69 members set to retire, including 18 from the BJP and 17 from the Congress.
With four seats already lying vacant, the total number of vacancies in the Upper House which has to be filled during the year will be 73, according to Rajya Sabha Secretariat data.
A close analysis of the data reveals that the BJP, which was moving towards the majority mark in the Rajya Sabha with steady movement of opposition MPs to the ruling party, is unlikely to make any substantial gain in the biennial elections, as it lost quite a few assembly elections in 2018 and 2019.
While on the other hand, the Congress may make slight gain on the back victories in the assembly polls either on its own and in alliance.
Besides Union Ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and Ramdas Athawale, other prominent leaders who will retire during the year include Sharad Pawar, Digvijay Singh and Vijay Goel.
The ruling BJP has 83 members and Congress has 46 members in the 250-member House.
It is Uttar Pradesh which has come to the rescue of the BJP, as 10 seats from the state will get vacant this year, out of which the maximum are likely to be won by the saffron party. However, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra may swing things slightly in favour of the Congress.
The maximum number of Rajya Sabha seats are getting vacant from Uttar Pradesh during the year, followed by seven from Maharashtra, six from Tamil Nadu, five each from West Bengal and Bihar.
Four seats each will be vacant from Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Odisha. Elections for three Rajya Sabha seats each in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, two each in Telangana, Haryana, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh will also be held this year.
Polls will also be held for one Rajya Sabha seat each from Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
Noted lawyer K T S Tulsi, who was nominated to the Upper House by the Congress-led UPA government will also retire during the year.