Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday filed his nomination as a BJP candidate for the by-election to a Rajya Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh.
The seat fell vacant following the resignation of Manohar Parrikar, who quit as defence minister to take oath as the chief minister of Goa.
A career diplomat-turned-politician, 65-year-old Puri was sworn in as a minister in September and was allocated the Housing and Urban Development ministry. But since he was not a Member of Parliament, he has to enter either the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha within the stipulated six months of taking oath.
His election is all but certain in view of BJP’s massive strength in the 403-member UP Assembly.
Puri was accompanied by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP state chief Mahendra Nath Pandey.
Speaking to reporters, Adtiyanath said, “Hardeep Singh Puri is an able person and has a long administrative experience”.
Puri said he was be happy to represent UP in the Rajya Sabha.
“I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah for making me minister and now giving me a chance to represent the state in the RS as a BJP member,” Puri said.
An IFS officer of the 1974 batch, Puri has served as India’s permanent representative to the United Nations.
Polling and counting of votes will take place on January 16.
(With inputs from agencies)