Ten Rajya Sabha seats up for grabs in Gujarat, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh: Who are the candidates?

As six Congress members and one from TMC are to be elected to Rajya Sabha unopposed, all eyes are on Gujarat, which has three vacant seats but four contesting candidates.

While the terms of nine Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat and West Bengal will be ending on 18 August, bypoll to the Upper House seat from Madhya Pradesh will also be held following the demise of Union environment minister Anil Dave. Here's a look at all the candidates set to contest for the ten seats during the 8 August elections.

West Bengal

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury was not renominated for a third consecutive term while Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee renominated the party’s sitting Rajya Sabha MPs Derek O’Brien, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy and Dola Sen for the elections. Apart from these three candidates, Shanta Chhetri and Manas Bhunia of the TMC are set to enter the Upper House unopposed including Pradip Bhattacharya of the Congress. The tenure of the outgoing members will end on 18 August.

Derek O'Brien, Dola Sen and Pradip Bhattacharya. Agencies

Derek O'Brien, Dola Sen and Pradip Bhattacharya. Agencies

Derek O'Brien, 56 (TMC)

The widely-known quiz master is the national secretary and chief national spokesperson of the TMC. He has been renominated to the Parliament from West Bengal.

Education: Bachelor of Arts from Scottish Church College

Assets: Rs25.4 crores

Dola Sen, 50 (TMC)

Sen, one of Mamata's closest confidantes, was the national president of TMC's labour arm Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress (INTTUC).

Education: Bachelor of Science (Mathematics)

Assets: Rs22.9 lakh

Pradip Bhattacharya, 72 (INC)

Bhattacharya is a veteran Congress leader. Between 1972-1977, he was the member of West Bengal Legislative Assembly.He has also served as Minister of State, Labour in West Bengal. He has been a member of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Since 2011, he has been on the Committee on Urban Development. Since 2012, he has also a member of Committee on Commerce in the Parliament.

Education: Master of Arts, Burdwan University, Bachelor of Arts (Hons) at SURI Vidyasagar College

Assets: Rs3.1 crore


Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, Shanta Chhetri, and Manas Bhunia. Agencies

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, 68 (TMC)

Roy was elected to the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal in 2011.

Education: MA, LLB

Assets: Rs1.6 crore

Shanta Chhetri, 60 (TMC)

The former Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) leader will be the face of the hills in Parliament. A three-time GNLF legislator from Kurseong, Chhetri had unsuccessfully contested from the same constituency on a TMC ticket in 2016 Assembly polls. She lost the elections to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).

Education: Masters of Commerce from North Bengal University, Bachelor of Commerce from Siliguri College of Commerce, Pre-university Kurseong College

Assets: Rs88 lakh

Manas Bhunia, 65 (TMC)

Bhunia has served as the Minister for Irrigation and Waterways and the Minister for Small & Micro Industries and Textile. He was lected from the Sabang constituency in the West Bengal 2011 Assembly election. A former state Congress chief who switched to the All India Trinamool Congress in 2016, was nominated as a TMC candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls by Banerjee. Bhunia, a six-time Congress MLA from Sabang of West Midnapore district had joined the TMC last September.

Education: MBBS, NRS Medical College

Assets: Rs5.5 crore

Madhya Pradesh

After the death of Union minister Dave, his seat in the Rajya Sabha fell vacant. By announcing emerging tribal leader Sampatiya Uikey as the party candidate, BJP has attempted to give representation to the tribal community in the Upper House.

Sampatiya Uikey, 49 (BJP)

Uikey will serve the remainder of Dave's term till June 2022. She is currently the district panchayat president in Mandla. She had contested the 2013 Assembly Elections but had failed to get a seat in the Rajya Sabha.

Education: Class XII

Assets: Rs3.14 crore


While the elections are crucial for the ruling BJP with its party chief Amit Shah contesting for a Rajya Sabha seat for the first time, veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel who is looking for a nomination for the fifth time is facing a tough fight.

Both Shah and Patel are credited with having crafted numerous election victories for their respective parties, in state as well as national elections.

Amit Shah, Smriti Irani, and Ahmed Patel. Agencies

Amit Shah, Smriti Irani, and Ahmed Patel. Agencies

Amit Shah, 53 (BJP)

The BJP president will make his debut in Parliament after he was nominated as the party's candidate to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. Shah is currently a legislator in the Gujarat Assembly. His victory will pave way for a bigger role for the BJP in the Centre.

Education: Bachelor of Science (Second Year), Gujarat University

Assets: Rs34.31 crore

Smriti Irani, 41 (BJP)

Irani is already a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat, and has been re-nominated. She headed the HRD ministry before she was shifted to the Ministry of Textiles. Irani now also holds additional charge of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Education: Bachelor of Commerce(Part I), School of Open Learning (Correspondence), University of Delhi

Assets: Rs8.8 crore

Balwantsinh Rajput, 55 (BJP)

Rajput is one of the three legislators who left Congress in July to join the saffron camp. An MLA from Sidhpur, BJP fielded Rajput as a candidate against Congress' Ahmed Patel. Prior to his exit, he was the Congress chief whip in the Gujarat Assembly. In the 2017 Rajya Sabha polls, Rajput is the richest candidate.

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Barkatullah University

Assets: Rs 315 crore

Ahmed Patel, 57 (Congress)

Patel, who is Congress president Sonia Gandhi's political secretary, is credited for the party’s wins in 2004 and 2009 and for helping build the alliance with other parties to form the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government. Patel has been a Rajya Sabha MP from Bharuch since 1993. Losing in his home state would severely hurt his and the party’s prospects in the Gujarat Assembly elections due later this year.

Congress is confident of Patel's victory as it is counting on NCP and JD(U) support.

Education: Bachelor of Science, South Gujarat University

Assets: Rs6.50 crore

Updated Date: Aug 03, 2017 16:34 PM

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