Arun Jaitley files nomination papers for Rajya Sabha polls

Sergio Conner
March 13, 2018

In Gujarat, the Congress list has created division among leaders.

All four seats are now represented by the BJP, including one by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who has been moved to Uttar Pradesh since the party does not have adequate numbers to win all four seats this time. Today is the last date of nomination for the elections to 59 Rajya Sabha seats. In the past, all these four seats were held by BJP candidates.

In Bihar, there are six vacancies.

He had met BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi last week, when he said he was offered a Rajya Sabha berth.

With an eye on the Karnataka polls, the Congress, too, announced the names of 10 candidates on Sunday, of which three are from Karnataka, where the incumbent Congress government led by Siddaramaiah is seeking another term.

Monday is the final day for filing of nominations.

In the 182-member House, the ruling BJP has 99 MLAs while the opposition Congress 77.

However, state Congress President Bharatsinh Solanki said both Yagnik and Rathwa would win their seats. The BJP had nominated sitting Rajya Sabha MPs and Union Ministers Parshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandaviya.

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Former Kerala BJP chief V Muralidharan will be its second candidate from Maharashtra.

Other key candidates include a retired Lt. Gen. close to Congress' ex-Haryana CM Hooda, and two of its own general secretaries. "This might split the votes of Congress MLAs", Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said. But finally, the name of BJP National General Secretary and Maharashtra State In-charge Saroj Pandey was announced by the Central Election Committee.

He ended his over-a-decade-long association with the party in September a year ago, formed the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh, and allied with the BJP-led NDA. Newly inducted to BJP, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the chairman of Jupiter Capital is one of the largest investors in Arnab Goswami's Republic TV news channel.

From Karnataka, the Congress has nominated L Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrasekhar. However, with no choice left, the JD (S) now makes a plan forward, to get ahead with the political game.

All parties have announced their list of candidates.

The elections in Maharashtra have been necessitated as Congress Rajani Patil and Rajiv Shukla, Vandana Chavan and DP Tripathi of NCP, Ajay Kumar Sancheti of the BJP and Anil Desai of the Shiv Sena will be retiring on April 2, 2018.

Amee Yajnik and Naranbhai Rathwa are the candidates from Gujarat.

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