The announcement regarding the nomination of 69-year-old Punia, a former bureaucrat and ex-chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes, was made by AICC General Secretary Madhusudan Mistry here.
Congress managers expect that Samajwadi Party would support the candidature of Punia if there is a contest.
Congress has just 28 seats in the 403-member House and would require the backing of ruling SP which has 221 members. On its own strength of 80, BSP can send two of its candidates to the Rajya Sabha.
The BSP is expected to announce its candidates on Wednesday. The BJP with 38 MLAs in UP assembly can send one person to the Rajya Sabha.
Mohd Addeb, an Independent, who is also retiring on November 25, was sent to the Upper House by SP and Congress. The polls would take place on November 20 to 10 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh which will fall vacant on November 25.
Out of the ten, six are at present occupied by the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Prominent among the members who are retiring on November 25 include former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, SP General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, BSP Chief Mayawati's close aide Brijesh Pathak and BJP's Kusum Rai.
While six members from BSP are retiring, the term of two members from SP, one BJP and one Independent is also coming to an end.

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