RS polls: BJP to announce candidate this evening

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Former Rajya Sabha member Dhiraj Prasad Sahu was nominated as Congress candidate from Jharkhand, while Rajamani Patel will contest from Madhya Pradesh.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has already filed nomination from Uttar Pradesh. The opposition Congress with 77 legislators, besides the four Independents and one Bharatiya Tribal Party member, also has the numbers this time to send two members to the Upper House. The highest number of seven candidates - Ashok Bhajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, G.V.L. Narsimha Rao and Harnath Singh Yadav - will contest from Uttar Pradesh.

The Sena has 63 MLAs, but the Congress does not expect to receive its surplus votes despite the smaller partner's anger at the BJP. Even if the lone CPI member and an independent MLA support the Congress, the total strength of the party does not exceed 15.

The party might announce the name by Sunday, since the last date for submission of nomination is Monday. Union ministers Parshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandavia are the BJP nominees.

Former CM Rabri Devi accompanied the two party candidates for filing the nominations.

Indian Premier League Chairman and Congress leader Rajeev Shukla, party sources said in Delhi, was ready at the eleventh hour to fly to Gandhinagar in a chartered flight to ensure the Congress did not lose a sure seat if Rathwa's papers were rejected.

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BJP has also made a decision to field Rajeev Chandrasekhar as party nominee from Karnataka while U Sameer will be saffron party candidate from Jharkhand.

After scrutiny of papers on Tuesday, all the six candidates are likely to be declared elected unopposed.

The RJD has nominated its national spokesperson Manoj Kumar Jha and owner of a private medical college, Ashfaq Karim, while the Congress is eyeing the sixth seat with RJD support. It is being said that she will withdraw her candidature after the forms of the three official candidates are cleared by election officials.

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and five others today filed their nominations for Rajya Sabha elections in Bihar. At present the party wise strength in the assembly is Congress-122, BJP-43, JDS-37, BSR Congress-3, KJP-2, KMP-1, independents-8, Speaker-1, nominated-1, vacant-7.

The Congress has fielded L Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrasekhar from Karnataka.

While Singhvi will represent the party from West Bengal, Niranbhai Rathwa and Amee Yajnik have been selected over many other seniors from Gujarat.