Narayan Rane among 18 BJP candidates announced for Rajya Sabha polls

Akhilesh Singh is Congress' Rajya Sabha candidate from Bihar: RJD's Manoj Jha, Ashfaque Karim submit nominations

Akhilesh Singh is Congress' Rajya Sabha candidate from Bihar: RJD's Manoj Jha, Ashfaque Karim submit nominations

In Uttar Pradesh, Ashok Bajpai, one of the founding members of the Samajwadi Party who left to join the BJP a year ago, has been fielded as a candidate. On Sunday, BJP released a list with 18 names, while Congress released the list with 10 names who will be contesting for the upcoming Rajya Sabha. The Congress, which has 120 MLAs, can send at least two MPs with 45 votes each.

Meanwhile, finally Narayan Rane, former chief minister and president of Maharashtra Swabhimani Party (BJP) agreed to go to Delhi in Rajya Sabha.

The lone CPM member and the Peasants and Workers Party of India's three legislators are inclined towards the Congress and can make up the shortfall.

Not wanting to take any chances, the Congress has also fielded party leader P. K. Valera as an independent candidate, as a backup arrangement.

Other key candidates include a retired Lt. Gen. close to Congress' ex-Haryana CM Hooda, and two of its own general secretaries. The elections will be held on March 23. "BJP offered me the opportunity to serve Karnataka and Bengaluru in the Rajya Sabha", he added.

Gandhinagar: After the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat last August that turned into a prestige battle between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, another fight is on the cards for the upper house elections scheduled for 23 March.

The last date for withdrawal of candidature is March 15.

For the two seats in Gujarat, supporters of state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki and Shaktisinh Gohil were lobbying hard. "It would not only be a dinner, but also showcase the strength of Opposition parties who would like to come together to form a front against the misrule of BJP", a senior Congress leader said. The Nationalist Congress Party's 41 votes will be good enough for its candidate Vandana Chavan.

The elections in Maharashtra have been necessitated as Congress Rajani Patil and Rajiv Shukla, Vandana Chavan and DP Tripathi of NCP, Ajay Kumar Sancheti of the BJP and Anil Desai of the Shiv Sena will be retiring on April 2, 2018. "He has done good work for the people and I and he is going to win Rajya Sabha in first round only".

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