Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Entertaiment | By Mabel Barber

Rajya Sabha polls: BJP fields four aspirants, Congress in spot

Rajya Sabha polls: BJP fields four aspirants, Congress in spot

The NDA now has 83 members in the 245 member Rajya Sabha.

Ketkar may well now be haunted by visions of the defection drama that preceded last year's Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections, where Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel just scraped through.

Jaya Bachchan of the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party's Bhim Rao Ambedkar had filed their papers last week.

A contest looks certain in Uttar Pradesh with 14 candidates filing their nominations for the 10 seats.

In this contest, a candidate needs 37 first preference votes to emerge victorious.

Monday was the last day to file nomination papers. Elections to the six Rajya Sabha seats from Maharashtra will be held on March 23.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is trying to get the Shiv Sena's additional votes for the BJP's fourth candidate, Vijaya Rah-atkar. With 122 members, the BJP can easily send three of its candidates to the Rajya Sabha. A candidate can score a straight win with 38 votes.

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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 made a decision to play it safe and avoid mudslinging over the RS seats.

Speaking to reporters, UP Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said, "If you see our list of Rajya Sabha candidates, all the regions have got representation on the basis of merit". Hence, Congress president Ashok Chavan is trying for unopposed elections.

"There is infighting in the Congress and they are confused about their candidates".

"An independent Mahesh Chandra Sharma also filed his nomination papers", Saxena, special secretary, UP Assembly, said. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had filed his papers earlier. BJP leaders have claimed that Ms Rahatkar is a dummy candidate and has been asked to file her nomination only as a precautionary measure.

Having enough strength in the Legislative Assembly to win three seats, BJP will have to rely on surplus votes from the Sena, other parties and independents.

In Bhopal, senior BJP leaders Thawar Chand Gehlot, Dharmendra Pradhan, Ajay Pratap Singh and Kailash Soni, besides Rajmani Patel of the Congress filed their nominations from Madhya Pradesh. The party has now fielded two candidates and backed one independent candidate.

After days of consultation and speculation, the TDP on Sunday announced that it is renominating sitting Rajya Sabha MP C.M.Ramesh and senior advocate K.Ravindra Kumar, who is known to be at the helm of TDP's legal cell.

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