BJP's 4th RS nomination causes flutter in polls

Aaron Brown
March 16, 2018

Following the last-minute withdrawal of a fourth candidate by the Bharatiya Janata Party, all six Rajya Sabha candidates from Maharashtra will be declared elected unopposed onn Thursday.

"We have informed the Election Commission about the irregularities in the nomination forms of Congress Rajya Sabha candidate Naran Rathwa and independent PK Valera", Goyal told reporters. Gujarat Congress women's wing president Sonal Patel had resigned from her post, protesting the party's move to nominate Yagnik who is a political novice.

The BJP is set to increase the tally of its Rajya Sabha numbers from Maharashtra and in the state Legislative Council owing to its improved performance in the 2014 state assembly elections, where it emerged as the single largest party, but fell short of majority on its own.

Congress, which had no member from Bihar in Rajya Sabha would now have a member in the upper house of the Parliament from Bihar following unopposed election of Akhilesh Singh.

In the house of 80, the ruling BJP has 43 MLAs and its ally AJSU 4, while opposition Congress has 7, JMM has 18 MLAs. The candidates for all six seats from the state were elected unopposed today.

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All five candidates filed their nominations papers on March 12, which were found to be valid during scrutiny on the next day.

The election for the single seat that has fallen vacant due to the expiry of the term of Bhushan Lal Jangde (BJP) will be held on March 23.

The BJP even approached the Election Commission demanding rejection of Rathwa's candidature. Each nominee will require 38 votes each to be elected from the 182-member state assembly.

The list of candidates from other parties include senior journalist Kumar Ketkar (Congress), Anil Desai (Shiv Sena) and Vandana Chavan (NCP).

Here too the arithmetic is likely to favour Congress, with the party hoping for support from seven rebel JDS MLAs, who are expected to join it after the Rajya Sabha polls. He ended his over a decade-long association with the party in September previous year, formed the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh, and allied with the BJP-led NDA.

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