NEW DELHI: Elections to 55 Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant in April will be held on March 26, the Election Commission announced on Tuesday.
Fifty-one of these 55 seats from 17 states are falling vacant on different dates in April due to retirement of sitting members, while four other seats are already vacant due to resignation of members.
The terms of the members who had resigned in the recent past were also ending in April.
While notification for the biennial elections will be issued on March 6, March 13 is the last date of filing nominations.
Counting will be held on the evening of March 26, an hour after the conclusion of polls.
Prominent among those retiring are Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh (JD-U), Union minister Ramdas Athawale (RPI-Athawale), Congress veteran Motilal Vora, former union ministers Vijay Goel (BJP) and Kumari Selja (Cong), and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.
While seven vacancies are from Maharashtra, six are from Tamil Nadu, followed by five from West Bengal and Bihar, four each from Odisha, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, three each from Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, two each from Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Jharkhand, one each from Himachal Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress are expected to win most of the seats in the elections but the two will also see their strength diminished marginally.
The Trinamool Congress and the YSR Congress Party are expected to make significant gains in the 245-member Upper House after the March 26 elections.