Anxious moments for Cong as Rathwa files RS nomination in Guj

Rajya Sabha polls Rajiv Shukla not Naranbhai Rathwa to file nomination from Gujarat

Anxious moments for Cong as Rathwa files RS nomination in Guj

Valera has made a decision to contest as an independent for the elections due on March 23.

Hours after the Congress announced its candidates for the biennial Rajya Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised an objection to the nomination of Rathwa over the issuance of "No Dues Certificate" to him.

Three out of the seven candidates filed their nomination papers in the last 30 minutes before the 3-PM deadline today. However the party chose to filed Vijaya Rahatkar, the fourth candidate.

Sources close to Mr Chandrashekar, meanwhile, said there were two main reasons why he was chosen by the BJP for the Rajya Sabha.

As the Assembly session was going on, the focus of attention remained the Returning Officer's chamber as scrutiny of nomination forms began on Tuesday. But the BJP is "Bahut Jhoothi Party" (big lying party). 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. However, leaders of both the BJP and the Congress denied that Mulani was associated with them.

The BSP, with 19 MLAs in the 403-member Assembly, is already short of 18 first preference votes and with Agarwal's son Nitin likely to vote for the BJP, the task will be all the more hard for Mayawati's candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar. With Chandrashekar assured of victory by virtue of the BJP having 48 votes, the contest will be for the fourth seat between the Congress and the JD-S, whose strength got reduced to 37 after three of its members were suspended for revolting against its leadership.

The official also accepted the nomination of Independent candidate P.K. Valera, backed by the Congress.

UP BJP vice president JPS Rathore told PTI that the party was giving finishing touches to its strategy for the elections and the picture will be clear on March 15, the last day for withdrawal of candidature. Deputy chief minister Nitin Patel alleged, "Congress continues to suffer from factionalism".

Earlier, Rathwa said his documents were in order but BJP leaders put pressure on Returning Officer. Read Also: Cong names Rathwa, Yajnik for Rajya SabhaRumour mills After Congress officially declared the names of its two candidates from Delhi late on Sunday, news surfaced that Rathwa would be replaced by Rajiv Shukla who would be flying to Gujarat.

The BJP has fielded Union ministers Purshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandavia, apart from former MLA Kiritsinh Rana. Nomination papers of one Independent were rejected.

In August a year ago, 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.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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