BJP, Congress gear up for Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections

Originally from Pauri Garhwal district Anil Baluni is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah

Earlier, both the parties had announced nominating two candidates - Union ministers Parsho-ttam Rupala and Mansukh Mand-aviya from the BJP, and Naran Rathwa and Amee Yagnik from the Congress.

Talking to mediapersons, union petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Madhya Pradesh is the laboratory of public welfare programmes where they are conceived and enforced first. The NDA now has 83 members in the 245 member Rajya Sabha.

Seven candidates, including Valera and Rana, have filed nominations for four seats falling vacant from the state.

Jaya Bachchan of the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party's Bhim Rao Ambedkar had filed their papers last week.

In Uttar Pradesh the gamble is for the 9th seat. Apart from ministers, BJP leaders, including Vice President Arvind Singh Bhadoria, Vinod Gotia, Vijesh Lunawat, MLAs Surendra Nath Singh, Rameshwar Sharma, Ramlal Rautel, Engineer Pardeep Laria, Ranjana Bhaghel, ex-Mayor Krishna Gaur, spokesman Rahul Kothari etc were also present.BJP's Rajya Sabha candidates and Congress Rajya Sabha candidate presented their nomination papers to Returning Officer A P Singh and Assistant Returning Officer Puneet Kumar Shrivastava.

There was speculation that the BJP may ask some of its leaders to withdraw from the contest.

Today was the last day for filing of nominations for the biennial elections. Elections to the six Rajya Sabha seats from Maharashtra will be held on March 23.

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The AP assembly has 175 MLAS, out of which 125 legislators (including 22 defections from the YSRCP) are from the TDP, 44 from the YSRCP, four from the BJP and two independents. With 122 members, the BJP can easily send three of its candidates to the Rajya Sabha.

In UP, an RS candidate needs 37 votes to be elected.

Union social justice and empowerment minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said that his selection as nominee for Rajya Sabha seat shows that he is giving 100 percent to his work. In Gujarat 3 candidates have been fielded where the party is certain of winning 2. The Congress which has seven MLAs has also chose to support the BSP candidate.

"Of the five candidates, four have filed nominations on the last date (Monday), including three from the Congress and one from the BJP, while JD-S candidate B.M. Farooq had filed nomination on March 9", the Election Commission (EC) official told IANS here.

Rane, a former Shiv Sena and Congress hand, is contesting the election as a BJP nominee, while Ketkar is in fray on a Congress ticket.

These include eight of the BJP, one each of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, an Independent and three others.


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