12 members’ retirement not to change Rajya Sabha complexion

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New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) The retirement of 12 elected Rajya Sabha members in April is unlikely to bring any significant change in complexion of the upper house of parliament with the government continuing to be in minority.

Five nominated members will also be retiring this month and this is expected to increase the comfort zone of the government as nominated members tend to vote with the ruling side. Two nominated members had retired in November last year.

The Election Commission had last month announced biennial election to 13 seats for Rajya Sabha. A seat had fallen vacant in Nagaland in November following death of K. Zhimomi.

The term of seven of the 12 outgoing members ends on April 2 and of the others on April 9. Two of the retiring members are from Assam, one from Himachal Pradesh, three from Kerala, one from Tripura and five from Punjab.

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Of the five seats in Punjab, the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal have retained two seats each while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has retained its lone seat. In Himachal Pradesh, the Congress has gained a seat as the outgoing member Bimla Kashyap Sood was from the BJP, while the Nagaland People’s Front-led alliance candidate has been elected unopposed in Nagaland.

In Kerala, a seat each has gone to the Congress, the Janata Dal-United and the Communist Party of India-Marxist.

In Assam, three candidates are in fray for two seats, both held by the Congress. The election will be held on March 21.

The BJP has 48 members in the upper house while the Congress has 66. A total of 74 Rajya Sabha members will be retiring in 2016.

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