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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  Congress, BJP call off fight for Gujarat Rajya Sabha seats as four win unopposed
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Congress, BJP call off fight for Gujarat Rajya Sabha seats as four win unopposed

Union ministers Parshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandaviya of the BJP and Naran Rathwa and Amee Yajnik of the Congress were elected unopposed

Union minister Parshottam Rupala. File photo: Hindustan TimesPremium
Union minister Parshottam Rupala. File photo: Hindustan Times

Ahmedabad: Speculation over Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat ended on Thursday with both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress deciding to field two candidates each with three other candidates withdrawing their candidatures.

Earlier on 12 March, the last date for filing Rajya Sabha nominations for Gujarat, as many as eight candidates had filled the nomination forms.

Union ministers Parshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandaviya of the BJP and Naran Rathwa and Amee Yajnik of the Congress were elected unopposed after BJP’s Kiritsinh Rana and Congress-backed independent P.K. Valera backed out.

The Election Commission had earlier rejected the candidature of independent candidate P. Moolani as his candidature was not backed by the required number of legislators.

Returning officer for the election A.V. Karova said BJP candidates Rupala and Mandaviya, and Congress’ Rathwa and Yajnik have been elected unopposed.

The prospect of a contest came up when Valera, a Congress general secretary, and Rana filed their forms.

“BJP candidate Kirsitsinh Rana and independent nominee P.K. Valera, along with other dummy candidates have withdrawn their papers, leaving only four candidates," according to Karova.

On 13 March, the BJP took objection to Rathwa’s candidature and alleged that he had filed a “fake" no-dues certificate with his nomination forms.

However, the returning officer overruled the BJP’s allegations and accepted Rathwa’s papers.

The BJP then approached the Election Commission demanding that Rathwa’ nomination be disqualified due to irregularities in his form. The poll panel, however, ruled out any immediate intervention.

For a candidate to win, 37 first preferential votes are required. In the house of 182 legislators, BJP has a strength of 99 against the opposition Congress party’s 77. If both parties field two candidates each, all of them will make it to the Rajya Sabha.

In August last year, for the first time in the last two decades, a Rajya Sabha election was contested by voting in Gujarat. It was one of the toughest Rajya Sabha elections for the Congress which had fielded its senior leader Ahmed Patel who won by a very narrow margin.

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Published: 15 Mar 2018, 11:05 PM IST
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