Amit Shah, Smriti Irani to contest for Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat

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Union minister Smriti Irani will also contest the Rajya Sabha polls from Gujarat from where she is already an MP and her term ends on August 18.

The announcement was made after the BJP parliamentary meet on Wednesday evening.

If the BJP manages win all three Rajya Sabha seats, it will be a shot in the arm for the ruling party in Gujarat ahead of this year's assembly election, party leaders said.

Currently, Shah is an MLA from Gujarat's Naranpura constituency. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Shah, now a legislator in Gujarat, will be making his debut in Parliament once he is elected, given the numbers the ruling BJP enjoys in the state assembly. Sources said the BJP is likely to back an independent candidate from Gujarat, making it hard for senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel to be elected to the House. Union Minister Smriti Irani, now a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat, has been re-nominated for the other seat.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath BJP President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath BJP President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Terms of nine Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat and West Bengal are ending on August 18, including Ms Irani, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Trinamul Congress leader Derek O'Brien.

Congress has renominated Mr Patel, who filed his nomination on Wednesday.

The Congress has 57 MLAs in 182-member Gujarat assembly, and it needs support of 45 of them to win a Rajya Sabha seat. Party sources said the leadership was also open to the idea of supporting an independent candidate, if there is one.

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