March 18, 2018

Meet BJP's 11 candidates for 10 Rajya Sabha seats in UP

14 March 2018, 09:20 | Opal Carroll

With 324 members the BJP and its allies are sure to win eight seats. This will leave 28 additional votes with the saffron party

With 324 members the BJP and its allies are sure to win eight seats. This will leave 28 additional votes with the saffron party

Senior Congress leader Sonal Patel resigned as Gujarat Pradesh Mahila Congress president on Monday after the party nominated Amee Yagnik for the Rajya Sabha seat.

But the BJP has now forced a vote with its last-minute nomination of the state women's commission chairperson, Vijaya Rahatkar, as its fourth candidate. On the other hand, BJP fielded one more candidate to "give people an alternative to the Congress candidate".

Goyal said the BJP delegation informed the EC about?irregularities? in nomination forms of Rathwa and also Valera.

Shukla is expected to reach Gujarat by 3 pm today to be able to file the nomination papers. The Nationalist Congress Party's 41 votes will be good enough for its candidate Vandana Chavan.

If reports are to be believed, the party has chose to replace Rathwa with Shukla at the instructions of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. One of its leaders P K Valera has filed his nomination as an independent candidate with the support of some Congress MLAs.

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Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, senior BJP leader, C.T. Ravi said Mr. Chandrashekar was a Kannadiga as he was brought up in Karnataka, had studied here and lived in the state for the last 40 years. "This might split the votes of Congress MLAs", Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said. Its workers and leaders are not happy with their leadership. But getting their support would need deft political management from the Congress leadership. He added that they were not ruling out the possibility of a Bengalurulike situation this time. "There is no proper mention of criminal cases in Rathwa's affidavit". The party opted for Syed Naseer Hussain as its third candidate. Rathwa has refuted the allegations. We were waiting for the attested voter list of the mamlatdar to be attached with my nomination.

Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal claimed that there were irregularities in the nomination form of Congress leader PK Valera too.

The Sena has 63 MLAs, but the Congress does not expect to receive its surplus votes despite the smaller partner's anger at the BJP.

Although a campaign against its decision to field a non-Kannadiga, industrialist Rajeev Chandrashekar for the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka, is drawing enormous support on social media, the BJP seems undeterred and defended its choice of candidate on Tuesday. "The BJP is trying to make an issue out of a non-issue", Gohil said.

The BJP did try to avoid a backlash this time by announcing Mr Chandrashekar's name just 12 hours before filing of nominations for the RS poll, but the strategy doesn't seem to have worked.

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