Congress secures allies for Rajya Sabha polls, aims to challenge BJP-led NDA in 2019 elections
12 March, 2018, 10:44
Elections to the five Rajya Sabha seats has been necessiated as the terms of Kunal Ghosh, Bibek Gupta and Nadimul Haque of the Trinamool Congress and Tapan Sen of Communist Party of India-Marxist will end on April 2.
Earlier, there was speculation that BJP will field Kerala ally BJDS leader Tushar Vellappally from one of the states but sources said a section in the Kerala leadership was against it and lobbied for a partyman to be considered for Rajya Sabha membership. State Congress leaders have welcomed nomination of Ketkar.
The elections for the nearly 60 vacant RS seats would be held on March 23.
The name of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, besides a number of other Union ministers had figured in the first list of candidates announced on March 7.
Though the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are fighting the bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur together, it is likely that the two parties along with the Congress will support each other in the Rajya Sabha polls from Uttar Pradesh. The ruling TRS has the numbers to get all three of its nominees elected.
The list of 18 BJP candidates was released by the Bharatiya Janata Party Central Election Committee for ensuing biennial elections to the council of states.
The BJP will field Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Dr Anil Jain, GVL Narsimha Rao, and Harnath Singh Yadav from Uttar Pradesh, while Baluni will make his RS debut from Uttarakhand.
In Karnataka, the party has rewarded Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the founder-chairman of Jupiter Capital Pvt Ltd, a company that is an investor in Republic TV. After consulting the party leaders, Chief Minister and TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao on Sunday finalised the names of the candidates who will file their nominations on Monday.
Ketkar, 72, who has edited Marathi dailies like Loksatta and Maharashtra Times, has been a left-liberal Congress supporter throughout his career.
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