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BJP releases names of 11 Rajya Sabha candidates

Posted in S. Asia

Published on March 16, 2020 with No Comments

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has released the names of 11 candidates, including two from the allies, the Republican Party of India (Athawale), or RPI(A), and the Bodoland People’s Front, who will be the party’s nominees for the March 26 Rajya Sabha (RS) biennial elections. Former Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia, who joined the BJP hours before the announcement, and Bhubaneswar Kalita, who resigned from the party on August 5, the day the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill was tabled in the RS, are among the party’s 11 nominees for the Upper House polls.

Besides Scindia, the BJP’s other nominee from Madhya Pradesh is likely to be Harsh Chouhan, a senior member of the RSS-affiliated Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram and an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) alumnus, who is known for his work in the water conservation sector.

Chouhan’s appointment is yet to be officially announced. The BJP is eyeing 12 of the 55 seats that will go to polls. For the two seats in Assam, it has nominated Kalita and Biswajit Daimary of the Bodoland People’s Front, who has been a two-time RS MP. Vivek Thakur, the son of former Union Minister CP Thakur, has been announced as the party’s choice from Bihar, where the BJP ally JD(U) will get two seats. The total number of seats falling vacant in Bihar next month is five.

Abhay Bhardwaj, a Rajkot-based lawyer, who had defended the accused in the Gulberg Society massacre of the 2002 Gujarat riots, and Ramilaben Bara will be the candidates from Gujarat.

From Maharashtra, Ramdas Athawale from the RPI-A, an ally of the BJP, has been nominated along with Udyan Raje Bhonsle, a former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member of Parliament (MP), who lost the Satara Lok Sabha bypoll and is a descendant of the 17th century Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Also on the list of candidates are Deepak Prakash, the BJP’s Jharkhand unit chief, Lisemba Maharaj from Manipur and Rajendra Gehlot, Rajasthan unit’s vice-president and a former state minister.

The last date for the filing of nomination papers is March 13, the scrutiny will be held on March 16 and nominations can be withdrawn by March 18.


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