Rajya Sabha polls: BJP fields Narayan Rane, Rahatkar

Union minister of state Mansukh Mandaviya on his way to Gujarat assembly on Monday to file RS nomination for the second term

Union minister of state Mansukh Mandaviya on his way to Gujarat assembly on Monday to file RS nomination for the second term

Farooq, who had earlier too contested from JDS during the biennial elections to fill four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka in June 2016, had lost, as eight MLAs from the party voted in support of Congress candidate. Former home minister Rajni Patel has also filed his nomination as a back-up candidate for BJP.

Besides Chaturvedi, senior leaders such as Suresh Pachauri, former Mahila Congress chief Shobha Oza and State Congress president Arun Yadav were in contention for the seat in MP.

The decision was announced by the leader of the Congress legislature party in the state assembly, Ajay Kumar "Lallu", after a meeting with the leader of the BSP legislators in the assembly, Lalji Verma.

The nominations of Rathwa, Valera, and Rana were filed with the deadline half an hour away. But getting their support would need deft political management from the Congress leadership. The last date to withdraw is March 15. In the House of 182 legislators, BJP has a strength of 99 against the Congress party's 77.

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Congress also seems to be leaving nothing to chance after it faced one of the toughest Rajya Sabha elections in August previous year when senior leader Ahmed Patel won by a narrow margin. Businessman Rajeev Chandrashekhar, who secured a seat as an independent candidate last time but is seen to be close to BJP, has been named from Karnataka.

Congress spokesman Shaktisinh Gohil, however, said Shukla was not going to file nomination and added that the party's candidates are Rathwa and Yagnik. However, Rathwa delayed filing his nomination, and only arrived at the returning officer's office with Congress leaders around 2.30 pm. The BJP is yet to announce its third candidate. "He has fought in favour of many pro-Kannada movements", he told reporters after Chandrasekhar filed his nomination papers.

Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki expressed confidence that both their official candidates would win the RS polls.

Ruling out support to B.M. Farooq of the JD (S) for the third Rajya Sabha seat from the State, the Congress has chose to field AICC Spokesperson Syed Naseer Hussain, former Chairman of KUWS&DB G.C. Chandrashekar, and former MLC L. Hanumanthaiah.

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