The Rajya Sabha seats are distributed across the states of India. While the population of the states is a factor, the smaller states have been assured of at least one seat. The concerned state legislative assembly elects the Rajya Sabha members from that state. There are also twelve members of the Rajya Sabha nominated by the President.
India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman is one of the BJP candidates from Karnataka. Soon after she entered the Union Council of Ministers headed by Narendra Modi in 2014, she was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh. Later in 2016, she was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka and is now seeking a second term from the state. Film actor Jaggesh is the second BJP candidate, who is contesting the election for the first time. He replaces the retiring BJP member K C Ramamurthy, who was first elected in 2016 on the Congress ticket. He resigned his seat in 2019 and joined the BJP and contested the by-election and won as a BJP candidate as in now completing his term. The Congress has nominated Jairam Ramesh as one of its candidates. Ramesh is completing three terms in the Rajya Sabha, having been elected first in 2004 for two terms from Andhra Pradesh and then in 2016 from Karnataka. Nirmala Sitharaman, Jaggesh and Jairam Ramesh are likely to have a smooth sailing in this election as their respective parties have sufficient votes in the Legislative Assembly to get them elected.
The real contest is for the fourth seat. All the three major players in the State – BJP, Congress and the JDS have put up candidates. None of them has enough surplus votes to win this fourth seat on their individual strength. Thus, this fourth victory will require the candidate (and the supporting party) to be able to secure support beyond their party. All three parties appear to have formulated a strategy in mind while choosing their candidates. The JDS has chosen a former Rajya Sabha member and real estate magnate, Kupendra Reddy. The Congress fielded a candidate from the minority community Mansoor Ali Khan, who is considered close to Siddaramaiah. BJP has fielded its MLC and former state treasurer Lehar Singh Siroya. This victory will reflect the undercurrents between the three major political parties and the skills of the candidates to win support beyond across party lines.