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Guj RS polls: Cong leader files as Independent, BJP fields 'third' nominee

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BSP Chief Mayawati. | File PTI

"Aren't there any people from Karnataka for BJP to choose from?" the Congress asked, in a social media campaign called 'Namage Mosa - BJP Cheats Karnataka'.

Union ministers Purshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandavia are the nominees of the BJP while the Congress has fielded Amiben Yagnik and tribal leader Naran Rathwa.

Meanwhile, finally Narayan Rane, former chief minister and president of Maharashtra Swabhimani Party (BJP) agreed to go to Delhi in Rajya Sabha. "In all likelihood, the casualty could be a Congress nominee since an additional candidature has been filed, ' said a political analyst".

There will be 59 vacancies in the Rajya Sabha in April, including 17 from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and 12 from the Congress party. Anxious that BJP may jump in to take advantage if the Congress nominee was knocked out, the party sought to rush Shukla to Gujarat. The Congress can also send two candidates.

The poll outcome, if elections need to be held, will be announced on March 23.

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".

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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.

"Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has started calling the disgruntled among our legislators", a Congress politician said from Mumbai.

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. BJP candidate and UP general secretary Salil Bishnoi, when contacted said, "As per the orders of my party leadership, I have filed my nomination papers". It was expected that the party's parliamentary board would meet on Sunday to finalise names of candidates.

The 10 Congress candidates include senior journalist Kumar Ketkar from Maharashtra, and former Union minister Naranbhai Ratwa and the party's familiar television face Amee Yajnik from Gujarat.

The ruling BJP in Gujarat would want to defeat the Congress for the setback it suffered after Ahmed Patel managed to win the Rajya Sabha seat in 2017.

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