Arjun, Sushma set to enter Rajya Sabha again

Staff Correspondent

BHOPAL: After the scrutiny of nomination papers on Saturday for the Rajya Sabha biennial elections from Madhya Pradesh, the election of Union Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj, former Union Minister Vikram Verma, Narain Kesri and Anusuiya Uike to the Upper House is a mere formality.

Elections are being held for five Rajya Sabha seats held by three Congress members -- Arjun Singh, Hansraj Bharadwaj and Prafulla Maheshwari -- and two belonging to the BJP, Vikram Verma and Narain Kesri. Since Congress' strength has now shrunk to 39 in a House of 230, it is barely managing to retain a lone seat held by the HRD Minister. The Congress party's loss would be the BJP's gain due to its massive two-thirds majority in the State Assembly. The other four candidates belong to the BJP and even their election now is a mere formality.

The Returning Officer for the Rajya Sabha elections, A. K. Pyasi, told The Hindu that the papers of all the five candidates were found in order at the time of scrutiny. All the candidates except the HRD Minister were present during scrutiny of their nominations. The election results would be announced on Monday afternoon after the expiry of the deadline for withdrawal of nominations.