Rajya Sabha polls: Naranbhai Rathwa files nomination from Gujarat


The party's choice for two Rajya Sabha seats from the State has not gone down well with the cadres as more than 20 leaders were lobbying for a nomination.

The BJP has fielded its former Kerala unit chief V Muralidharan, Narayan Rane, its Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar and State Womens Commission chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar for the biennial elections to the six Rajya Sabha seats, that will take place on March 23.

"The BJP, which has 122 MLAs, is barely in a position to get three candidates elected but the fourth has been brought in with a sinister design", a Congress source said. Read Also: Cong names Rathwa, Yajnik for Rajya SabhaRumour mills After Congress officially declared the names of its two candidates from Delhi late on Sunday, news surfaced that Rathwa would be replaced by Rajiv Shukla who would be flying to Gujarat. Surprisingly, BJP leader and former minister Kiritsinh Rana too arrived with the saffron party's mandate.

Earlier in the day, Suresh Angadi, whip of BJP Parliamentary Party in Gujarat, in a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, alleged that clearances from seven different departments were given to Rathwa in under 50 minutes that enabled him to file his nomination.

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

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Tribal leader Rathwa was found wanting in certain documents needed for filing nomination at the Gujarat Assembly premises on Monday. We were honest and truth always wins.

However, Rathwa denied the allegations. "We wanted to make sure that all the necessary documents were submitted with the nomination".

The BJP candidates in the fray are Union Finance Minister Jaitley, Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, Harnath Singh Yadav, Anil Kumar Agarwal, Salil Bishnoi, Vidyasagar Sonkar and partys national spokesman GVL Narasimha Rao.

BJP strategists are hoping to win over some opposition legislators from the SP, BSP and the Congress, so that they can vote in their favor.

The BJP, yesterday, added a dramatic twist to the RS polls from Maharashtra by fielding a fourth candidate. Also everyone want to contest elections if given an opportunity, hence they are also contesting. Political observers, however, believe given their strenuous relations, it will be a herculean task for BJP leadership to convince Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to have his MLAs cast votes in its favour. Returning officer for the election said, "All the nominations will be scrutinised and cleared by Tuesday afternoon".