Two ministers in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, minister for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman and minister for information and broadcasting and environment Prakash Javadekar are not members of any House in Parliament but could get elected from the southern states of Karnataka and Seemandhra respectively.
According to sources in the BJP, of the four seats getting vacant in the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka, the Congress would get two seats, and one seat would have to be a joint effort between the Janata Dal (S) and any other party, with one seat going to BJP. “For the seat from the BJP quota, Nirmala Sitharaman’s name is making the rounds,” said a source in Bengaluru. Sitharaman’s parents stay in south Bangalore.
While Sitharaman has denied that she is in the know of developments, her name is most likely to be suggested from the state unit.
Prakash Javadekar, who was a member of the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra from 2008 till 2014, is expected to be elected from one seat from Seemandhra which will see an election due to the passing away of senior Congressman Janardhana Reddy. In the elections to the Seemandhra Assembly held concomitantly with the General Elections, BJP ally Telegu Desam Party (TDP) has a majority and is in a position to get its nominee elected. Sources in TDP suggest that they could be open to offering the seat to the BJP, especially to Javadekar who helped midwife the BJP-TDP alliance.
Both ministers have to be elected to either House of Parliament within six months of appointment. Rajya Sabha seats for the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh were divided into Telangana and Seemandhra on Friday evening by a draw of lots presided over by vice president Hamid Ansari. Out of a total of 18 seats, 11 seats fell into the Seemandhra kitty while Telangana got 7.