Lucknow: Notification for elections for 10 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh was issued here Monday.
The March 30 polls are being keenly watched as outgoing chief minister Mayawati is likely to be a candidate for one of the two seats her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is likely to win.
Based on its reduced strength of 80 legislators in the 403-member house, BSP can send only two nominees to the upper house of parliament. The nominations are open till March 19 and can be withdrawn until March 22.
Voting for the 10 seats would take place March 30. The results will be known the same evening.
Other than Mayawati, former cabinet secretary and close aide Shashank Shekhar Singh was in the running but aides to the Dalit leader told IANS that his chances had dimmed.
At a party meeting, BSP leaders blamed the former cabinet secretary for the party's woes and accused him of isolating the once accesible Mayawati from her supporters.
Six members of the Rajya Sabha are retiring April 2. Till now the BSP was the third largest party in the Rajya Sabha after Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Samajwadi Party (SP), with its 224 members, can send six candidates to the Rajya Sabha while the BJP is likely to get one seat.
The 10th seat would be decided by a mixed bag of votes that could include the Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Congress votes.
The Rajya Sabha members whose term is ending include Pramod Kureel, M. Ali, Jai Prakash, Ganga Charan Rajput and Naresh Agarwal (all BSP), Vinay Katiyar and Kalraj Mishra (BJP), Mahendra Mohan Gupta and Veerpal Singh Yadav (SP) and Mahmood Ali Madni (RLD).
Jai Prakash and Naresh Agarwal recently joined the SP.