BJP's Naresh Bansal declared elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha from Uttarakhand

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Dehradun, Nov 2 (PTI) Senior BJP leader Naresh Bansal was declared elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha from Uttarakhand on Monday with no other party in contest.

Bansal was handed over the certificate of his election from the seat by Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha Secretary Mukesh Singhal as the deadline for withdrawal of nominations came to an end here at 3 pm.

Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, his cabinet colleagues Subodh Uniyal, Arvind Pandey, Pradesh BJP president Basidhar Bhagat and a host of party MLAs were present as Bansal was declared elected unopposed to the the Upper House of Parliament.

The party subsequently staged a rally from the gates of the Vidhan Sabha to its state office to felicitate Bansal. However, the scale of the procession was kept modest in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pradesh BJP vice president Devendra Bhasin said.

Polling for the seat was scheduled to be held on November 9 but it became unnecessary as no other party fielded its candidate from the seat.

As per the constitutional norms, in circumstances like these the lone candidate in the fray is given the certificate of election at the end of the deadline for withdrawal of nominations.

Bansal's unopposed election to the Upper House from Uttarakhand was a mere formality with the BJP having 57 out of a total of 70 seats in the state assembly and no challenger to him in the fray.

Soon after his election, Bansal said that contributing to the realisation of a prosperous Uttarakhand as envisioned by people who fought for statehood will be his topmost priority as an MP.

'Our mothers and sisters suffered the atrocities of the erstwhile government. Several youths sacrificed their lives. Recognising the sentiments that had guided the statehood movement, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee facilitated creation of Uttarakhand. Helping translate the vision of a prosperous Uttarakhand as conceived by those who fought for it is my biggest priority,' he told reporters. Bansal replaces Congress' Raj Babbar whose tenure in the Rajya Sabha ends on November 25.

A seasoned party leader, Bansal became associated with the RSS at a very young age and occupied several important positions in the state unit of the BJP, including that of its general secretary (organisation) for seven years from 2002 to 2009.

He was also Pradesh BJP's working president during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls which saw the party retaining all the five lower house seats in Uttarakhand. PTI ALM SNE