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

13 March 2018

Congress MP Rajiv Shukla narrowly missed the bus for a Rajya Sabha renomination as he was called to file papers from Gujarat at around noon on Monday by when time had run out and air travel to Ahmedabad was curtailed due to closure of the airport. BJP general secretary Saroj Pandey has been fielded from poll-bound Chhattisgarh, while party spokerperson Anil Baluni will file his nominations from Uttarakhand.

It also expects support of MLAs from smaller parties- B R Patil (KJP), B Nagendra (independent) and Ashok Kheny (KMP), who have recently joined the Congress.

The former Shiv Sena chief minister subsequently formed his own party, the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh, and allied with the BJP-led NDA. Independent candidate P.K. Valera has filed his papers with support from Congress MLAs.

The lone CPM member and the Peasants and Workers Party of India's three legislators are inclined towards the Congress and can make up the shortfall.

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At present the party wise strength in the assembly is Congress-122, BJP-43, JDS-37, BSR Congress-3, KJP-2, KMP-1, independents-8, Speaker-1, nominated-1, vacant-7.

However, the fight will be between the third candidate of the Congress and JDS's Farooq. Voting to elect 58 members to the Rajya Sabha from different states will take place on March 23.

Union minister Prakash Javadekar and sitting Rajya Sabha members Anil Desai (Shiv Sena) and Vandana Chavan (NCP) filed their papers last week.

Syed Naseer Hussain, L Hanumanthaiah and G.C. Chandrashekar will be contesting from Karnataka.

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The Congress may lose a few seats in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections, but the entire process is likely to be favourable for the party. 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. Chandrasekhar will win only if he manages to get a section of JD (S) votes. Rana's candidature was announced thereafter.

Congress RS nominee from Maharashtra is Kumar Ketkar.

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

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