Antony, Veerendra Kumar elected to Rajya Sabha from Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, March 14 (IANS) Congress leader A.K. Antony, JD-U’s M.P. Veerendra Kumar and the CPI-M’s K. Somaprasad were on Monday declared elected to the Rajya Sabha from Kerala.

With Monday being the last date for withdrawal of nominations, there were just these three candidates in the fray and hence no need for an election. With their nominations found in order, all three were declared elected after the close of time for withdrawal.

While Antony and Veerendra Kumar are nominees of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), the ruling coalition in Kerala, Somaprasad was fielded by the Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Democratic Front (LDF).

Antony, 75, has served two consecutive terms since 2005 in the Rajya Sabha. He was also a member from 1993 to 1995.

Kumar, 79, the leader of the Janata Dal-United in Kerala, is also a media baron, heading the Mathrubhumi group. He has twice been a member of the Lok Sabha.

“We are thankful to the Congress and the UDF which facilitated my election and I will be doing my duty in the upper house,” said Kumar after hearing the news of him being declared elected.

Somaprasad is a local level CPI-M leader hailing from Kollam and heads the party’s scheduled caste (SC) cell. He contested the assembly polls in 2001 but lost and has always been active in party work.

The three seats that fell vacant were held by T.N.Seema and K.N.Balagopal of the CPI-M and Antony.

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