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Rajya Sabha Polls: Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Dharmendra Pradhan File Nominations

14 March 2018

Union ministers Purushottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandavia of BJP filed their nominations from Gujarat. To get support from the opposition would have created a ruckus, leading to allegations of bribing MLAs against us.

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot threw his hat into the ring from Madhya Pradesh. Former home minister Rajni Patel has also filed his nomination as a back-up candidate for BJP. Veerendra Kumar's term would have expired in April 2022. However the party chose to filed Vijaya Rahatkar, the fourth candidate.

In Uttar Pradesh the gamble is for the 9th seat. Each candidate requires votes of 38 MLAs. Today was the last day for filing nominations.

In Gujarat, the Congress state general secretary P K Valera staked claim as an Independent prompting the BJP to field former MLA Kiritsinh Rana as the third candidate to make things hard for the Congress. Last minute filing of nominations by Maharashtra State Commission for Women chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar of behalf of the BJP would make the election interesting as the number of candidates is seven for six seats.

The Congress and BJP announced the list of candidates only yesterday. Both the parties are in a position to send two candidates each to the Rajya Sabha.

But with the recent spat over AP's funding (with the Centre) in the Union Budget 2018, and with both the TDP and BJP withdrawing their ministers from the state and union cabinets, the Telugu Desam Party led by AP chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has chose to play it safe and avoid mudslinging over the RS seats. In Gujarat 3 candidates have been fielded where the party is certain of winning 2. Hence, Congress president Ashok Chavan is trying for unopposed elections. There seems to be a fight between Congress's third candidate and Farooq. He submitted his nomination papers before Maharashtra Legislative Assembly deputy secretary Vilas Athawale in Mumbai on Monday. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had filed his papers earlier.

Rane, a former Shiv Sena and Congress hand, is contesting the election as a BJP nominee, while Ketkar is in fray on a Congress ticket.

With Chandrashekar assured of victory by virtue of the BJP having 48 votes, the contest will be for the fourth seat between the Congress and the JD-S, whose strength got reduced to 37 after three of its members were suspended for revolting against its leadership. Likewise, lone Rajya Sabha candidate of Congress also reached Assembly to file his nomination papers and he was also flanked by senior party leaders.

The quota to win Rajya Sabha elections is 41 votes. With this, the YSRCP is all set to win the third one easily.

Rajya Sabha Polls: Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Dharmendra Pradhan File Nominations