The 57 vacant seats were spread across 15 states. Of these, the BJP held 23 seats and eight were held by Congress. The rest were divided between the other parties.
The toughest contests are expected in opposition-ruled states like Rajasthan and Maharashtra, where both sides have corralled their MLAs to resorts to prevent poaching. Election is due on 16 seats in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Haryana.
The maximum seats, 11, are located in Uttar Pradesh. It is followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu with six seats each.
Prominent among those up for polls are Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal, Congress’s Randeep Surjewala, Jairam Ramesh and Mukul Wasnik, and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut.
In Maharashtra – where polls for Rajya Sabha are happening after two decades — the ruling alliance of Shiv Sena, Congress and Sharad Pawar’s NCP is in a tight spot after its arrested MLAs were not allowed bail for voting.
The BJP has managed to cross the 100-mark in the upper house, becoming the first party to do so since 1990. Still, the elections are expected to help it shore up its numbers ahead of the Presidential polls.
Since 2017, when the last Presidential elections were held, Jammu and Kashmir has gone under President’s Rule. Three other states – Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu — are under opposition control.
With inputs from NDTV