BJP's 4th RS nomination causes flutter in polls

The Congress nominated party leaders L Hanumanthaiah Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrasekhar from Karnataka for the March 23 Rajya Sabha elections

The Congress nominated party leaders L Hanumanthaiah Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrasekhar from Karnataka for the March 23 Rajya Sabha elections

The BJP has fielded Union ministers Purshottam Rupala, Mansukh Mandavia, and former MLA Kiritsinh Rana while Amiben Yagnik and Naran Rathwa would be Congress candidates.

Keen on not letting the Congress in Karnataka nominate its third MP to the Rajya Sabha in the upcoming polls easily, the Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) has chose to crackdown on its rebel MLAs. Deputy chief minister Nitin Patel alleged, "Congress continues to suffer from factionalism".

In August past year, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel struggled but managed to to retain his Rajya Sabha seat against the backdrop of resignation and cross-voting by some Congress MLAs.

The Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Abdul Mannan, however, tried to put up a fearless face, saying the TMC's decision to support Singhvi would not affect the Congress' equations with the CPI (M) in Bengal.

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

Meanwhile, the BJP has reportedly made a decision to field Rajiv Chandrashekar, who hails from Kerla, as its candidate due to pressure from the RSS.

"We have informed Election Commission about the irregularities in nomination forms of Congress Rajya Sabha candidate Naran Rathwa and independent PK Valera, also there is no proper mention of criminal cases against Rathwa in his affidavit", Union Minister Piyush Goyal said.

The BJP did try to avoid a backlash this time by announcing Mr Chandrashekar's name just 12 hours before filing of nominations for the RS poll, but the strategy doesn't seem to have worked. Both the BJP and the Congress, with their respective number of MLAs, could each send only two nominees to the Upper House.

In terms of caste equation, the party has chose to field candidates from minority (Naseer Hussain - Ballari), Dalit (L Hanumanthiah - Bengaluru Rural) and dominant Vokkalinga community (G C Chandrashekar-Hassan). The BJP had asked Ms Rahatkar to be its fourth candidate on Monday. 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. The BJP now has 58 seats - four more than 54 seats of the Congress.

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