Maha: Rane, Ketkar file nominations for Rajya Sabha polls

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Gujarat state women's wing president Sonalben Patel stepped down today after the party nominated state spokesperson Amee Yajnik as one of the two candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls.

The party has strategically chosen its candidates in Kerala, poll-bound Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. Bajpai, a Brahmin leader from Hardoi, joined the BJP past year.

In Gujarat, the Congress list has created division among leaders.

Independent Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar will be the BJP candidate from Karnataka. Monday is the last day for filing of nomination for the Rajya Sabha election. The list contains 18 names with 7 from Uttar Pradesh.

In Bihar, there are six vacancies. "And once Congress's candidate fails to secure the quota, counting goes for second preference and we can put all our 122 second preference votes in favour of Rahatkar", said a senior BJP leader. The Congress, which has 120 MLAs, can send at least two MPs with 45 votes each.

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The BJP has already fielded union ministers Purshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandavia, while the Congress has nominated Amiben Yagnik and tribal leader Naren Rathwa. So far, BJP has fielded three of its candidates while Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP fielded one candidate each.

Other key candidates include a retired Lt. Gen. close to Congress' ex-Haryana CM Hooda, and two of its own general secretaries.

"Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has started calling the disgruntled among our legislators", a Congress politician said from Mumbai.

Anil Baluni, the national head of the BJP's media wing, has been named from Uttarakhand, while Saroj Pandey, who is presently the general secretary of the party, has been named from Chhattisgarh.

The saffron party is assured of three seats from Maharashtra this time, so it has chose to field HRD minister Javadekar and former state chief minister Narayan Rane along with V. Muraleedharan, who is a former Kerala BJP party chief. "I have been a quasi-BJP MP because things that I believe in - giving clean government and better governance, besides providing opportunities for all - are more closely aligned with BJP than any other political party", Chandrasekhar said.

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