Rajya Sabha polls: Naranbhai Rathwa files nomination from Gujarat

Reports also suggested that the party had decided to replace Rathwa with Shukla at the instructions of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

Rajya Sabha polls: Naranbhai Rathwa files nomination from Gujarat

New Delhi: Former Union Minister Naranbhai Rathwa on Monday filed nomination papers from Gujarat for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls due to be held on March 23.

Earlier, there were reports that Shukla would replace Naranbhai Rathwa. It was being said that Rathwa could not file his nomination papers due to lack of important documents. 

Reports also suggested that the party had decided to replace Rathwa with Shukla at the instructions of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

Gandhi had reportedly telephoned Shukla and asked him to file his nomination papers.

Shukla was expected to reach Gujarat by 3 pm today to be able to file the nomination papers. 

Congress had on Sunday announced names of 10 candidates for the biennial Rajya Sabha elections in seven states, including Abhishek Manu Singhvi from West Bengal and senior journalist Kumar Ketkar from Maharashtra.

The names were released after Congress president approved the list for the March 23 Rajya Sabha polls. 

Senior COngress leader Naranbhai Rathwa, who represented Chhota Udaipur Lok Sabha constituency in Gujarat for the five terms, was nominated along with Congress leader and prominent lawyer Amee Yajnik from Gujarat.

Former Rajya Sabha member Dhiraj Prasad Sahu was nominated as Congress candidate from Jharkhand. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in June 2009 and was against re-elected in 2010. 

The party nominated three candidates from Karnataka, including Dalit poet L Hanumanthaiah and Vokkalinga leader GC Chandrasekhar. The party opted for Syed Naseer Hussain as its third candidate. 

The ruling Congress in Karnataka can easily win two seats and meets few extra votes for the third seat. 

Former Minister and Congress leader Rajmani Patel will contest from Madhya Pradesh. 

Five Rajya Sabha members from Madhya Pradesh are completing their terms in April 2018. Congress spokesperson Satyavrat Chaturvedi, who is among the five retiring members, could not make to the list.

Ketkar has been nominated from Maharashtra and Porika Balram Naik from Telangana. 

The party has nominated senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi from West Bengal. Elections to the five Rajya Sabha seats has been necessitated 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.

The TMC has already its four candidates and its leader Mamta Banerjee has openly said her party would support Singhvi in the Rajya Sabha polls. 

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