Election to 3 Rajya Sabha Seats from Delhi on January 16, AAP Yet to Name Candidates

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Friday announced that elections to three Rajya Sabha seats from Delhi besides one seat each from Sikkim and Uttar Pradesh would be held on January 16.

The notification for the polls will be issued on December 29 and the last date of making nominations is January 5, 2018. The nominations would be scrutinised the next day and the candidates can withdraw their names by January 8.

The polling will be held on January 16 between 9 am to 4 pm, and the counting of votes will be done the same day, the EC said.

The Sikkim seat would fall vacant as Hishey Lachungpa is due to retire on February 23 next year, while a seat from Uttar Pradesh fell vacant after Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar resigned from the Narendra Modi government and the Upper House in September on returning to Goa as Chief Minister.

The terms of the three members from Delhi — Karan Singh, Janardan Dwivedi and Parvez Hashmi — are due to end on January 27, 2018.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), having a majority in the Delhi assembly, holds sway over the three seats. However, the party has not decided its candidates.

Although there are a few leaders within the party who can lay claim to a Rajya Sabha berth, with Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Kumar Vishwas being the frontrunners, but friction with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has made things difficult for the third.

A party source said that AAP is looking outside its fold for candidates and is keen to project eminent persons from fields such as law, social work and economics as its candidates.

The party had reportedly also approached former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan, but he declined the offer.

The party will have to zero in on the candidates by the end of its month.