Cine star-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan filed her nomination for the Rajya Sabha as the Samajwadi Party candidate on Friday.

Biennial elections to 10 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh are slated for 23 March.

Bachchan, currently aN RS member from the SP, arrived in the central hall of the Vidhan Bhawan around 12.30 p.m. and filed her three sets of nomination papers. Also present were vice president of the party Kiranmoy Nanda and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav.

Party president Akhilesh Yadav was conspicuous by his absence since he was campaigning in Allahabad for the Phulpur byelection slated for 11 March.

Friday is the last day for campaigning in the Lok Sabha byelections. Samajwadi Party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav was also not present.

This will be Bachchan’s fourth term as a RS member. She was first elected to the Upper House of Parliament in 2004 as a SP candidate. Her current term comes to an end on 2 April. The cine star’s election appears a near certainity given that the SP has 47 MLAs in the 403 member Uttar Pradesh Assembly. A total of 37 first preference votes are needed for a candidate to win.

Shortly after filing her nomination Jaya Bachchan thanked party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and all party MLAs and MLCs for supporting her candidature.

There was much speculation that the SP would either give the ticket to Nanda or repeat Naresh Agarwal. However, the party announced the candidature of Ms Bachchan. She is known to be close to both Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav.