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Amit Shah to fight Rajya Sabha polls from Gujarat

The BJP parliamentary board on Wednesday decided to field party president Amit Shah from one of the three Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant in Gujarat next month.

The board also decided to renominate Union textile minister Smriti Irani. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The biennial poll and the bypoll to Rajya Sabha will take place on August 8. Mr Shah is currently MLA from Naranpura Assembly seat in Gujarat.

Senior leader and Union minister J.P. Nadda announced the decision after the meeting of the party panel. BJP has also decided to field its leader Sampatiya Uike from Madhya Pradesh. The seat fell vacant due to the demise of Union environment minister Anil Madhav Dave.

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.

Out of the nine retiring members, four are from the TMC, two from the Congress, two from the BJP and one from the CPI(M). The term of Congress’ Ahmed Patel, BJP’s Dilipbhai Pandya and Ms Irani, all from Gujarat, is due to end on August 18. Congress has renominated Mr Patel, who filed his nomination on Wednesday.

The tenure of members from West Bengal, Mr O’Brien and his party colleagues, Debabrata Bandhopadhyay Sukhenduhakhar Roy (TMC) and Dola Sen (TMC), and Congress’ Pradip Bhattacharya is also ending on August 18.

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