Raipur: Congress nominees K T S Tulsi and Phulo Devi Netam were on Wednesday elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Chhattisgarh, officials said. Tulsi and Netam were the only candidates in the fray for the two seats of the Upper House of Parliament that is falling vacant next month from the Congress-ruled state and hence there was no need for polling which was otherwise slated for March 26.

The declaration of the two candidates elected to the Rajya Sabha was made on the last date for withdrawal of nominations.

“The deadline for withdrawal of nominations ended this afternoon and the two candidates have been elected unopposed,” an official statement here said.

Of the five Rajya Sabha members from Chhattisgarh, the term of two of them Motilal Vora (Congress) and Ranvijay Pratap Singh Judeo (BJP) – is ending in early April.

The main opposition BJP did not field any candidate in view of its low strength in the current assembly, whose members vote in the Rajya Sabha elections.

The other three Rajya Sabha members from the state are Saroj Pandey and Ramvichar Netam of the BJP and Chhaya Verma of the Congress.

The 48-year-old Phulo Devi Netam, incumbent state Congress womens wing president, is a prominent tribal leader from the Bastar region.

She was the MLA from Keshkal (1998-2003) in the Bastar division and unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Kanker.

Tulsi, a noted Supreme Court lawyer, was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha in 2014 during the then Congress -led UPA government. He served as Additional Solicitor General of India in 1990.

In the 90-member state Assembly, the Congress has 69 MLAs and the BJP 4. The Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have five and two MLAs, respectively.

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