BJP chief Amit Shah will contest Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat, the party said today. Elections will be held for three seats in the state on August 8 and the BJP has the numbers to easily win two.
For the second seat, the BJP will re-nominate Union Minister Smriti Irani, whose term ends next month.
Amit Shah is currently a legislator in the Gujarat assembly. The decision to bring the party chief to Parliament for the first time was taken at a meeting on Wednesday of the BJP's highest decision making body the parliamentary board, union minister JP Nadda said after the meeting.
The BJP has not yet named a third candidate for the Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections. The party could field one, sources have said, hoping to stop Ahmed Patel, political advisor to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, from returning to the upper house of Parliament to cause the rival party severe embarrassment ahead of assembly elections to be held later this year.
Mr Nadda said local leaders were still holding discussions on that.
He also announced that Sampatia Uike, a tribal leader from the Mahakoshal region would be the BJP's candidate for the single Rajya Sabha seat in Madhya Pradesh for which by-elections will be held.
The BJP is confident of winning the seat, vacated by the death of party leader and union minister Anil Madhav Dave.