UP: BJP to back Independent candidate, contest for 10th seat thrown open

UP: BJP to back Independent candidate, contest for 10th seat thrown open

Shukla is learnt to have got the approval from Congress President Rahul Gandhi to file his nomination papers from Gujarat.

The biennial elections are being held to 58 Rajya Sabha seats. Congress party leader and former minister Rajmani Patel too submitted the nomination form.

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.

After re-nominating Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Ravishankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar, JP Nadda and Dharmendra Pradhan last week, BJP's fresh list includes a good mix of new faces and party veterans. Today was the last day for filing nominations. Independent candidate P.K. Valera has filed his papers with support from Congress MLAs.

BJP strategists are eyeing disgruntled elements in the Samajwadi party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BJP) along with the Congress in order to facilitate its ninth candidate to win.

Former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane's name also appears among the list of candidates from Maharashtra.

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The maximum number of candidates fielded by the Congress party are in Karnataka, with 3 nominations, namely Dalit poet L. Hanumanthaiah, Vokkalinga leader G.C. Chandrasekhar and Syed Naseer Hussain.

The BJP, which has a 45-member strength in the State Assembly, can easily win one Rajya Sabha seat and the party plans to spring a surprise by fielding a party worker.

The fluid political situation in Bihar, where there was a possibility of a seventh candidate, seems to have helped Akhilesh.

While, Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD), Janta Dal (United) were the other parties who announced the names of the candidates for Rajya Sabha.

Sitting Rajya Sabha MP Bhupendra Yadav, Meena and veteran party leader Madan Lal Saini also filed nominations as BJP candidates. The Sena whose strength in the assembly is 63 has 21extra votes after it gets elected its one candidate. Fearing defections and allegedly facing threats, the Congress had then packed off its MLAs to a luxury resort near Bengaluru.

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