BJP president Amit Shah is all set to make his debut in Parliament with the party’s Parliamentary Board taking a decision on Wednesday that he will contest the August 8 Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat. Shah is currently a legislator in the Gujarat Assembly. His nomination ends speculation that Shah would return to state politics in Gujarat and take over as the Chief Minister ahead of the Assembly election scheduled for later this year.
Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani will also contest the Rajya Sabha polls from Gujarat from where she is an MP. Irani, whose term ends on August 18, has recently been given additional charge of the Information and Broadcasting ministry.
After the Parliamentary Board meeting, Union Minister and senior party leader J P Nadda announced their names as the party’s nominees from Gujarat. Nadda also announced the candidature of Sampatia Uike, a tribal leader from Mahakoshal region of Madhya Pradesh, for a by-election to the Rajya Sabha from the state.
The terms of nine Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat and West Bengal are ending on August 18. These include Irani, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien.
Out of the nine retiring members, four are from TMC, two from the Congress, two from the BJP and one from the CPM. Sources said the BJP is likely to back an independent candidate from Gujarat, making it difficult for senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel to be elected to the House.