Ram Jethmalani, Hema Malini, Dara Singh and four other nominated members of the Rajya Sabha will complete their term on August 26, enabling the United Progressive Alliance government to get own choice of persons of eminence nominated by President Pratibha Patil.
Four others retiring on August 26 are: Journalist Dr Chandan Mitra of The Pioneer, Dr Bimal Jalan, Dr Kasturirangan and Narain Singh Manaklao (BJP-Jodhpur).
Under the Constitution of India, the President nominates a total of 12 MPs to the Upper House. The nominated members who have not yet completed their term are noted economist and former RBI Governor Dr C Rangarajan, Prof M S Swaminathan, Dr Kapila Vatsayan, top film director Shyam Benegal and Shobhana Bhartia of the Hindustan Times Group.
The Prime Minister's Office and 10 Janpath are flooded with requests to get nominated against the upcoming vacancies. Highly placed sources, however, said the process of selection of candidates will begin only in the first week of August and the names will be sent to the President only after screening by security agencies.
Aveek Sarkar of the Telegraph-Ananda Bazar Patrika Group and Tribune chief editor H K Dua are said to be in the race for the "journalist quota".
Under the Rajya Sabha rules, any nominated member can become a member of a political party in a stipulated time period and as such three of the retiring MPs had joined BJP, namely Hema Malini, Dara Singh and Manaklao. Though Chandan Mitra is a member of the BJP national executive, he did not join the party in the Rajya Sabha, remaining Independent.