Lucknow:  Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Rajya Sabha member Kalraj Mishra on Wednesday quit his Upper House seat following his election to the Uttar Pradesh assembly. According to state BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak, Mishra gave up his Parliament seat after his victory from Lucknow (East).

The Rajya Sabha term of Mishra, seen as the Brahmin face of the once-formidable party in the Hindi heartland, was to end April 2. With its present strength of 47 legislators in the 403 member UP assembly, the party can only send one member to the Rajya Sabha.BJP leader Vinay Katiyar has already filed his nomination.

Mishra first made his foray into the Rajya Sabha in 1978 and was its member till 1984. He then reverted back to state politics and was a member of the legislative council, holding important portfolios in successive BJP governments of Kalyan Singh, Ram Prakash Gupta and Rajnath Singh.

Following the coronation of Rajnath Singh as chief minister in 2001, Mishra entered the Rajya Sabha again in 2001 and won another term in 2006, which is now coming to an end.

Mishra fought his first direct election in the just ended state assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, defeating his nearest Samajwadi Party rival Juhie Singh by over 21,000 votes.