Finance Minister Arun Jaitley files nomination papers for Rajya Sabha polls

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The poll outcome, if elections need to be held, will be announced on March 23.

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.

In his reaction, Pradhan thanked Prime Minister Narandra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah for nominating him for the Rajya Sabha again.

Apart from Akhilesh, those who filed their nominations were the RJD's Manoj Jha and Ahmad Ashfaque Karim, the JDU's Bashishtha Narayan Singh and King Mahendra, and the BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad who filed his nomination for the fourth consecutive term.

Former Union Minister Naranbhai Rathwa along with prominent lawyer Amee Yagnik was nominated from Gujarat. The Congress has fielded Dr L Hanumanthaiah, Dr Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrasekhar. The NDA would still need 11 more and may place its hopes on engineering cross voting from Congress through former PCC president Ashok Choudhary, who joined JD (U) recently.

The opposition party is backing independent candidate P.K. Valera, a former bureaucrat, who threw his hat in the ring at the last minute due to technical hitches with Rathwa's candidature.

Rajya Sabha nominations need the support of 10 MLAs.

According to reports, Congress' decision to field its third candidate came as a blow to JDS that had hoped Congress would support its candidate, keeping the larger picture of the post poll scenario after the assembly elections in mind.

Earlier on Friday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the Trinamool Congress will back Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi. "This might split the votes of Congress MLAs". The Congress can also send two candidates.

The Bharatiya Janata Party Central Election Committee on Sunday decided the following names for the ensuing biennial Rajya Sabha elections to the council of different states.

The BJP has fielded Rajeev Chandrasekhar, while the JD (S) has fielded businessman BM Farooq.