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BJP, Congress put out lists for March 23 Rajya Sabha polls

BJP, Congress put out lists for March 23 Rajya Sabha polls

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane on Monday filed his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha polls from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) quota.

The election for the six seats was expected to be unopposed but the BJP today fielded Maharashtra State Commission for Women chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar, taking up the number of candidates in fray to seven.

After re-nominating Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Ravishankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar, JP Nadda and Dharmendra Pradhan last week, BJP's fresh list includes a good mix of new faces and party veterans.

The NDA would still need 11 more and may place its hopes on engineering cross voting from Congress through former PCC president Ashok Choudhary, who joined JD (U) recently.

Gujarat is all set to witness an acrimonious battle as four Rajya Sabha seats will fall vacant in April.

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Praising the BJP leaders after they filed their nominations, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was also present at the event, said all the four BJP nominees are capable leaders and they will not only contribute towards the development of the state, but also of the country. From here, all party MLAs and senior party leaders will leave for Legislative Assembly along with Pandey at 12 noon in the form of a rally, where she will be filing nominations. For now, the Congress holds two of these seats, NCP also holds two seats while the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena share the remaining two. On Sunday, BJP released a list with 18 names, while Congress released the list with 10 names who will be contesting for the upcoming Rajya Sabha.

From Karnataka, the Congress has nominated L Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrasekhar.

For the two seats in Gujarat, supporters of state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki and Shaktisinh Gohil were lobbying hard.

In August a year ago, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel struggled but managed to to retain his Rajya Sabha seat against the backdrop of resignation and cross-voting by some Congress MLAs.

According to reports, Congress' decision to field its third candidate came as a blow to JDS that had hoped Congress would support its candidate, keeping the larger picture of the post poll scenario after the assembly elections in mind.