All six candidates set to enter RS unopposed in Maharashtra


BJD candidates Prashant Nanda, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and Achyuta Samanta were elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha, said Returning Officer Rajesh Prabhakar Patil after the deadline for withdrawing the nominations - 3 p.m. on Thursday - passed.

The Congress party has made a decision to field Syed Naseer Hussain, AICC spokesman, L Hanumanthaiah, former MLC and former Kannada Development Authority chairman, and G C Chandrashekar, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary and former Chairman of Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB).

Union Railway Minster Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said the Election Commission (EC) has been informed about the irregularities in the nomination forms of Congress Rajya Sabha candidate Naranbhai J. Rathwa and independent candidate P.K. Valera. "There is no proper mention of criminal cases in Rathwa's affidavit". He claimed that senior BJP leaders had "brought in lawyers" to put pressure on the returning officer not to accept his nomination.

"Maharashtra State Commission for Women chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar has withdrawn from the fray", the state's Parliamentary Affairs Minister Girish Bapat said here today. The JD (S) that has repeated its businessman candidate B M Farooq is severely short of votes (44 is required for each nomination) to nominate him.

Fortunately for the Congress, its nominee Rathwa's papers were found to be valid ensuring that he remained in the fray as its official candidate.

Here too the arithmetic is likely to favour Congress, with the party hoping for support from seven rebel JDS MLAs, who are expected to join it after the Rajya Sabha polls.

The candidates elected to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra this time are BJP's Narayan Rane, Prakash Javadekar and Kerala leader V Muralidharan.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala responded to BJP's allegations while addressing reporters. Anil Desai of Shiv Sena, NCP's Vandana Chavan and Congress's Kumar Ketkar also went through to the upper house.

At present, the opposition Congress and the NCP hold two seats each, while the Shiv Sena and the BJP have one seat each of these six RS seats.