Shimla: Himachal Pradesh University vice-chancellor Sikander Kumar Monday filed his nomination as BJP candidate for the election to the lone vacant Rajya Sabha seat from the hill state.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and state BJP chief Suresh Kashyap accompanied Kumar during the filing of nomination papers.
Thakur told reporters Kumar had not asked for the ticket and that the party decided to send him to the Rajya Sabha.
The election to one of the three Rajya Sabha seats from Himachal Pradesh has been necessitated as Congress MP Anand Sharma is completing his term on April 2.
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The nominations will be scrutinized on March 22 and the candidates may withdraw their candidatures before March 24, Assembly Secretary-cum-Returning Officer Yash Paul Sharma said.
If necessary, the election would be held between 9 am and 4 pm on March 31, he added.
The ruling BJP has 43 MLAs in the 68-member Assembly, followed by the opposition Congress 22, Independents two and the CPI(M) one MLA.
With the BJP having 43 MLAs, Sikander Kumar’s election is all but certain.
Hailing from Hamirpur district, Kumar headed the Himachal chapter of the BJP SC Morcha when President Ram Nath Kovind was its national chief.
There are three Rajya Sabha seats from Himachal and the other two are occupied by BJP national president Jagat Prakash Nadda and Indu Goswami.
A professor of Economics, Kumar was appointed as Himachal Pradesh University VC on August 3, 2018, and given a one-year extension last year.
He held additional charge of the VC of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Cluster University, Mandi, from November 16, 2018, to March 5, 2019, and of Atal Medical and Research University, Mandi, from August 3, 2018 to November 4, 2019.