BJP names 18 candidates for Rajya Sabha polls


Five Rajya Sabha members from the state of MP will complete their terms in April this year.

The elections to the 59 seats in 16 states will be held on March 23.

The by-poll in Kerala was necessitated following the resignation of JD (U)'s M P Veerendra Kumar, who had quit to after party president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar returned to the NDA fold.

A prominent omission from the BJP list is that of Vinay Katiyar whose term is due to expire now.

In this contest, a candidate needs 37 first preference votes to emerge victorious. Initially, the caste combination that the party was aiming for was the Dalit-minority-Lingayat one but after various rounds of talks, it became evident that Lingayats had been given adequate representation through Water Resource Minister MB Patil, senior Congress leader SR Patil and various other leaders. Last date for filing nomination was March 12 while scrutiny of paperswould be done next day, Mr Rai said adding that willing candidates couldwithdraw their nominations by March 15.

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While Patel could not be contacted for a comment, party spokesperson Manish Doshi said Patel was not happy with the selection of Yajnik as a Rajya Sabha nominee. This means the Congress can count on just 38 votes, 3 short of requirements. The BJP-led alliance will get eight seats and the SP-Congress-BSP alliance will bag two. "Hence GC Chandrashekar was chosen", another Congress leader told TNM.

The third candidate of the Congress, which has 123 members, is expected to emerge victorious with possible support from seven JD (S) rebels and a few independent Legislators.

BJP's allies the BSR (Congress) and the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), floated by its former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, have three seats and two seats, respectively. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had filed his papers earlier. The Congress has little chance of getting its nominee elected from Telangana. The party and its allies have 324 seats (BJP's Noorpur MLA died recently in a road accident) in the 403-member Assembly.

In Madhya Pradesh, party cadres who have worked for years have been rewarded - state vice-president and key election strategist Ajay Pratap Singh, and Kailash Soni, who has held many posts in the organisation. Yadav is also a BJP national general secretary.

Baluni said, "I will raise issues of Uttarakhand in the House".