RS polls: 7 candidates throw hats into the ring for 6 seats

RS polls: 7 candidates throw hats into the ring for 6 seats

Elections will be held on 23 March for various seats of the Rajya Sabha, including five from Madhya Pradesh.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded three candidates, including two sitting Rajya Sabha members. Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Mansukh L Mandaviya and Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala will contest election from Gujarat. While the party's Dalit face PK Valera filed his nomination as an independent candidate, Sonal Patel, who heads the State's Mahila Congress, offered to resign and shot off a letter to the national president of the party, citing personal reasons to be relieved from the post.

"A meeting of Congress Legislature Party was held and after consulting the MLAs, we have made a decision to vote for the BSP nominee", CLP leader Ajay Singh Lallu said.

Speculation is rife that the BJP might name a ninth candidate as well by the time the nomination process closes later in the day.

It was BJP national president Amit Shah who informed Muraleedharan, who is now in Shimoga in connection with the Karnataka Assembly elections, about the party's decision on Sunday. Rana and Valera also filed their nominations during the last half-an-hour allotted for the objective.

Rajya Sabha nominations need the support of 10 MLAs.

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The last date for withdrawal of candidature is March 15.

The BSP has 19 members in the Vidhan Sabha while the Congress has seven. BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao and industrialist Rajeev Chandrashekhar got nominations from Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

However, the fight will be between the third candidate of the Congress and JDS's Farooq. However, Rathwa delayed filing his nomination, and only arrived at the returning officer's office with Congress leaders around 2.30 pm.

RJD state President Ram Chander Purve said both Jha and Karim were chosen by party chief Lalu Prasad, now lodged in a Ranchi jail in connection with two fodder scam cases. Going by this statistic, if MLAs of both the parties vote as per their party whip, both Congress and BJP are poised to win two seats each.

Likewise, BJP fielded Narayan Rane and Kerala's BJP state president V Murlidhar as its candidate for Rajya Sabha polls.

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