Top leaders in fray for high-stakes Rajya Sabha polls

Rajya Sabha polls BJP fields Narayan Rane Rahatkar

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.

Monday is the last day for filing of nomination for the Rajya Sabha election. It is already learnt to have won over four independents in the state assembly leaving it with just a few more votes needed for its 9th candidate.

Amee Yajnik and Naranbhai Rathwa are the candidates from Gujarat.

Rebel JD (S) leader N Cheluvarayaswamy on Sunday announced that seven leaders from the party including him will officially join the Congress on March 25. Prakash Javdekar, Narayan Rane and V. Murlidharan are the BJP's official candidates while Ms Rahatkar, has also filed her nomination as BJP candidate on Monday. Four Trinamool candidates and one each from the Congress and the Left Front filed their nomination papers in the Assembly.

The Congress has fielded L Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrasekhar from Karnataka. Looking at the selection of the candidates and the in-fighting that has surfaced afterwards, it is clear that there is a feeling of discontent among Congress members from their central leadership.

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The other distinguishing features of the Rajya Sabha nominations from Bihar this year are that there are no "outsider" candidates and no Dalit or backward caste candidate.

In Uttar Pradesh, it could be a tight-rope walk for BSP's Bhimrao Ambedkar, who was hoping for a smooth sailing to the Rajya Sabha with support of the Samajwadi Party and Congress. BM Farooq filed nomination as a JDS candidate.

Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had fielded Manoj Jha and Ashfaque Karim as Rajya Sabha candidates.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday confirmed that his party would support Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in the upcoming elections to the Rajya Sabha from Telangana. Given the strength of the LDF in the Assembly, Kumar's victory is certain.

His name was proposed by 40 MLAs - 20 each from the Congress and the TMC.

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