Notification out for Rajya Sabha polls for 3 seats in Odisha

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Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Tuesday named former MLA Bhimrao Ambedkar the party's nominee for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.

"SP and BSP may formally stitch an electoral alliance in the next LS polls in 2019 if they are able to even substantially reduce the margins in Phulpur and Gorakhpur if not wrest the seats from BJP, " said a senior state Congress leader here. "Mayawati's condition was that the BSP will support the Congress candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh if its MLAs supported BSP in Uttar Pradesh", a party leader, who did not wish to be named, told The Indian Express. She had said the SP would support the BSP candidate in the Rajya Sabha election while the BSP will back the SP in the forthcoming Vidhan Parishad biennial poll. (The effective strength of the assembly has been reduced to 402 after the death of BJP member Lokendra Singh in a road accident on February 21). With having 325 Assembly seats in UP, the BJP is in a comfortable position to win eight of the 10 seats of members who retire on April 2. "So both the parties are expected to win two seats each", a state Assembly official said. Patel later managed to retain his seat, with his victory being a morale booster for the party workers ahead of state Assembly polls held in December.

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Under such a scenario, the BJP with a considerable chunk of surplus votes, may spoil the opposition's game plan by fielding its ninth candidate and bringing the Opposition to a test.

The election has been necessitated as three seats in Rajya Sabha from Odisha will be lying vacant after the tenure of AU Singhdeo (BJD), Dilip Tirkey (BJD) and AV Swami (Independent) ends on April 2, 2018. "It is only a trade-off between them for personal gains". In August past year, the BJP and the Congress had bitterly fought the Rajya Sabha polls.

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