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BJP gets first MP from UT in Rajya Sabha, Sonowal, Murugan and TMC’s Sushmita Dev elected unopposed

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New Delhi: Union ministers Sarbananda Sonowal and L Murugan were on Monday (September 27) elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha from Assam and Madhya Pradesh respectively.

BJP nominee S Selvaganapathy was declared elected unopposed to the lone seat in Rajya Sabha from Puducherry, the first time the saffron party has got representation in the Upper House from the Union Territory, while DMK’s two nominees, Kanimozhi N V N Somu and K R N Rajeshkumar, were elected without contest from Tamil Nadu.

Sushmita Dev, who left the Congress and joined the Trinamool Congress a little over a month ago, was declared elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha from West Bengal.

Dev, who is the daughter of Congress heavyweight and former union minister Santosh Mohan Dev, is a former Lok Sabha MP from Silchar in Assam.

Senior Congress leader Rajani Patil is also set to be declared elected unopposed to a Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra after the opposition BJP on Monday (September 27) withdrew its candidate from the next month’s bypolls.

Sonowal, the lone candidate in the fray for the RS seat in Assam, was declared elected to the Upper House of Parliament by the Returning Officer on the last day of withdrawal of nomination.

Accompanied by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and BJP state president Bhabesh Kalita, he collected the election certificate from the Returning Officer in the afternoon from the state assembly premises.

Speaking to reporters, Sonowal said he will continue to work for the betterment of the state and its people.

The former chief minister thanked the BJP leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Assam CM Himanta Sarma, for their support towards him.

“My special thanks to the people of Assam and especially Majuli for their unrelenting belief and trust in me,” he added.

Sonowal, 59, was inducted as the Minister for Ports, Shipping and Ayush in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet in July, necessitating his entry into Parliament.

The byelection in Madhya Pradesh became necessary after then Union minister Thawarchand Gehlot resigned following his appointment as the governor of Karnataka in July this year.

Murugan, who helmed the Tamil Nadu unit of BJP until July before being inducted in the Union cabinet, is the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

From Tamil Nadu, two vacancies arose in the Upper House following the resignation of AIADMK leaders, K P Munusamy and R Vaithilingam, after they won the Assembly polls in May.

Kanimozhi, an obstetrician and gynecologist, is the daughter of late party veteran and former Union Minister N V N Somu. She fills the seat vacated by Munusamy and her term would be till April, 2026.

The term of Rajeshkumar, the party’s in-charge for Namakkal-East District who fills the vacancy caused by Vaithilingam’s resignation, would be till June 2022.

The main opposition AIADMK did not field any nominees. In Maharashtra, the by-election was necessitated due to the death of sitting Congress MP Rajeev Satav in May.

The BJP had fielded Sanjay Upadhyay for the bypolls and he has now withdrawn from the race, paving the way for Rajani Patil (62) to get elected unopposed. Patil and Upadhyay were the only candidates in the fray.

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