BJP today released the list of 18 candidates for the Rajya Sabha Elections 2018. The BJP has made its candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls from Karnataka. For now, the Congress holds two of these seats, NCP also holds two seats while the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena share the remaining two. The Congress, which has 120 MLAs, can send at least two MPs with 45 votes each. The BJP had nominated sitting Rajya Sabha MPs and Union Ministers Parshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandaviya. Former Maharashtra Congress leader Narayan Rane and the BJP's Kerala face V Muralidharan are the the BJP candidates from Maharashtra.
Congress also seems to be leaving nothing to chance after it faced one of the toughest Rajya Sabha elections in August past year when senior leader Ahmed Patel won by a narrow margin. Anxious that BJP may jump in to take advantage if the Congress nominee was knocked out, the party sought to rush Shukla to Gujarat.
"There is infighting in the Congress and they are confused about their candidates".
Polling will be held on March 23 and the results are expected to be declared the same evening.
After re-nominating Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Ravishankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar, JP Nadda and Dharmendra Pradhan last week, BJP's fresh list includes a good mix of new faces and party veterans.
The Congress party announced that it would be fielding P Balram Naik as its candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections on March 23. The BJP chose to field its own candidate in the seat nevertheless.
The Congress fielded two candidates - tribal leader Naran Rathwa and State unit spokesperson Amee Yajnik. Yeddyurappa welcomed the move and said, "I welcome Rajeev Chandrasekhar's nomination".
With Congress fielding a Vokkaliga leader, the JD (S) will have the hard choice of backing its own candidate or voting for a Vokkaliga, its main support base.
The opposition party is backing independent candidate P.K. Valera, a former bureaucrat, who threw his hat in the ring at the last minute due to technical hitches with Rathwa's candidature.
Congress RS nominee from Maharashtra is Kumar Ketkar.