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13 March 2018, 04:01 | Opal Carroll
Balram Naik announced as Congress RS candidate
With 14 candidates, from Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other bigwigs to an independent, entering the fray for ten vacant Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh, a contest to the Parliament's Upper House became imminent today.
The Rajya Sabha polls will take place on March 23, 2018, where candidates will fight for 59 seats, across 16 states, including six seats in Maharashtra.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominee Prasad was accompanied by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi, state BJP President Nityanand Rai and a host of other state ministers and NDA leaders.
On rest two seats up for grabs then, BJP president Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani won comfortably.
Ketkar, a regular on TV news debates, filed his papers in the presence of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Chavan. One of its leaders P K Valera has filed his nomination as an independent candidate with the support of some Congress MLAs. The Congress can also send two candidates.
Congress can win only one seat from Maharashtra as the party has 42 members in the state assembly and the quota to win the seat is also 42.
To get elected to the Rajya Sabha, each candidate requires 37 votes.
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.
UP BJP vice-president JPS Rathore told PTI, "The party has fielded 11 candidates for the ongoing Rajya Sabha elections from UP".
Meanwhile, in Gujarat, the BJP fielded three candidates on its mandate to counter a possible move by the Congress.
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.
Former Congress politician Narayan Rane is a BJP candidate, and at least two Congress members - his son Nitesh Rane and an old loyalist - are expected to vote for him.
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