New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) With Madhya Pradesh in the grip of a political crisis, the BJP has stepped up its Rajya Sabha election preparations with the party expected to hold its Central Election Committee meeting on Tuesday on Holi, where the names of its Rajya Sabha contenders will be discussed.

The names of BJP contenders for the Rajya Sabha election are likely to be out “very soon”, said BJP sources. One BJP source said it can be out as early as in next 24-48 hours.

The CEC, if it takes place on the day of Holi, as speculated will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself. Union Home Minister Minister Amit Shah, BJP president J.P. Nadda, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari will also be present.

In the 245-member Upper House, members from across 17 states are set to retire.

In the Rajya Sabha, the BJP has only 82 members, well short of the 120 required for a simple majority. Though the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has 97 seats. Attaining 120 may be not only unpragmatic but highly ambitious for the BJP. But it definitely wants to better its tally from the current 82.

The Rajya Sabha poll name finalisation comes amid the ongoing political upheaval in Madhya Pradesh where ‘rebel’ Congress legislators have been camping in Bengaluru.

Earlier some supporters of sulking party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia started camping in Delhi from Monday.

A source close to Scindia told IANS that more than a dozen Congress MLAs are in Delhi and they have switched off their cellphones. There are also reports that some of the party legislators might be in touch with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

While the BJP was tipped to lose a seat from Madhya Pradesh, where it is pulling out all stops to ensure it does not happen, it’s also likely to lose a seat from Chhattisgarh. The party may lose a couple of seats from Rajasthan as well. However, the BJP is likely to get two more seats from Assam and one each from Haryana, Meghalaya and Odisha.

–IANS

abn/kr

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