Rajya Sabha polls: TDP files nominations for just two seats

Former Maharashtra CM Narayan Rane

The BJP released the names of 18 candidates on Sunday for the upcoming biennial Rajya Sabha elections. Thus this time chances are more for rejecting his nomination.

Elections to four Rajya Sabha are scheduled on March 23.

The Congress deployed Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Paresh Dhanani, and senior party leader Shaktisinh Gohil to put forward Rathwa's case. Meanwhile, BJP alleged that there was anger among Congress leaders as the party had sprung surprises in candidate selection. "The truth has finally prevailed". Rathwa and Amee Yajnik will be contesting from Gujarat.

A short while after 2:30 PM, almost half an hour before the 3-PM deadline for filing of papers, Rathwa turned up along with state Congress leaders at the office of Returning Officer here and submitted his papers. All this while the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party party was raising objection to his nomination. Returning officer for the election said, "All the nominations will be scrutinised and cleared by Tuesday afternoon". "He has also not mentioned serious allegations in his affidavit", Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani said.

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As Rupala, Mandavia, and Yagnik submitted their forms, Rathwa delayed filing his nomination, giving rise to speculations on the second candidate of the Congress, with name of Rajeev Shukla started doing the rounds.

Accusing the BJP of playing "lowly game" in the past as well, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Rathwa's nomination was "absolutely correct". "Hence, we fielded Kirtisinh Rana as the third candidate with party's mandate", Patel added. "In this regard, we are forced to take legal course of action", the statement reads. The four candidates who filed nomination for Maharashtra are Union Human Resource Minister Prakash Javdekar, former CM Narayan Rane, V Murlidharan and state women commission's Chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar. The Congress also chose to back Independent candidate PK Valera. The Congress also extended support to independent candidate PK Valera, who is a Congress general secretary in the state unit.

Three out of the seven candidates filed their nomination papers in the last 30 minutes before the 3-PM deadline today.

The last date for withdrawal of candidature is March 15.

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