Drama over Rathwa's Rajya Sabha nomination ends with acceptance

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The Rajya Sabha elections to be held on March 23 is sure going to be an interesting affair.

Flatly turning down the request from Opposition JD (S) to extend support for its industrialist candidate B M Farooq for the Rajya Sabha seat, the ruling Congress party has made a decision to try its luck by gambling on winning the third out of the four Rajya Sabha seats from the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. Just ahead of the 3 pm deadline, he somehow managed to furnish the required documents. However the party made a decision to filed Vijaya Rahatkar, the fourth candidate. It was being said that Rathwa could not file his nomination papers due to lack of important documents.

Later, BJP's Rana also filed his nomination as a third candidate for the party.

A short while after 2:30 PM, almost half an hour before the 3-PM deadline for filing of papers, Rathwa turned up along with state Congress leaders at the office of Returning Officer here and submitted his papers. The four candidates who filed nomination for Maharashtra are Union Human Resource Minister Prakash Javdekar, former CM Narayan Rane, V Murlidharan and state women commission's Chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar.

The nomination of Independent Paresh Moolani was rejected since it was not backed by the statutory number of proposers. However, leaders of both the BJP and the Congress denied that Mulani was associated with them.

Ahead of the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections, the BJP has added an element of unpredictability to the otherwise boring and predictable polls by fielding a fourth candidate from the state.

The last date for withdrawal of candidature is March 15.

In the 225-member state legislative assembly, including one nominated, the Congress has 122 legislators, BJP 48 and JD-S 37.

Among the seven nominations accepted was BJP's dummy candidate Rajnikant Patel.

The Samajwadi Party has 47 MLAs in the House, and can transfer 10 surplus votes to the BSP, which has declared its support to the SP candidates in the bypolls for Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats vacated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya.

"The delay in filing of nomination forms by Rathwa was also a result of infighting", he said.

Gandhi had reportedly telephoned Shukla and asked him to file his nomination papers.

The BJP on Tuesday said that the bickering and infighting in the Congress have come out with Rajya Sabha nominations and added that by fielding P K Valera as an Independent candidate, the Congress has proved that there is an atmosphere of mistrust in the party.

On rest two seats up for grabs then, BJP president Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani won comfortably.