March 11, 2020 9:31:23 pm
NCP chief Sharad Pawar Wednesday filed nomination for Rajya Sabha election from Maharashtra, while party leader and former minister Fauzia Khan, who was expected to file nomination along with Pawar, is likely to do so later.
Of the 55 Rajya Sabha seats that are going to polls on March 26, seven are from Maharashtra. Two of these seven seats in the state were previously held by the NCP and one each by the Congress and the Shiv Sena. Three of the seats were held by the BJP and their supported candidates.
According to sources, Khan’s nomination was delayed following an apparent power tussle between the three Maha Vikas Aghadi allies which are set to fight the Rajya Sabha elections together for the first time. The last date for filing nomination is March 13.
Meanwhile, the Congress, which is yet to name a candidate, is expecting an additional seat for itself. The Shiv Sena, too, has not announced a replacement for its outgoing MP Rajkumar Dhoot. The party is considering senior leader Chandrakant Khaire and Priyanka Chauturvedi for the post.
The BJP had announced Udyayan Raje Bhosale’s name as their first candidate from the state last Friday. It has also nominated Republican Party of India’s Ramdas Athawale from its quota.
After filing his nomination Wednesday, Pawar ruled out a Madhya Pradesh-like political drama in Maharashtra and said the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance government was doing “very well” in the state.
“The fact that the media has not got any material to write against it (the MVA government) means all is well,” Pawar said. A former Congressman, Pawar, however, said if talks had been initiated with Jyotiraditya Scindia, who joined the BJP Wednesday, a day after quitting the country’s oldest political party, the present situation won’t have arisen. “…If there was a dialogue with “raja saheb” (Scindia), this situation wouldn’t have arisen. He wanted to be given new responsibilities after his defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. But, this is not Congress culture and it is not easy.”
Asked about SIT probe into the Koregaon Bhima violence, Pawar said, “I am not aware if the government will form an SIT. But our demand stays.” On Muslim reservation, Pawar said Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik had highlighted the NCP stand on the issue and the party stood by it.
Besides Pawar, Athawale and Dhoot, Rajya Sabha tenures of Congress’ Hussain Dalwai, BJP’s Amar Sable, BJP-backed Independent Sanjay Kakade and NCP’s Majeed Memon will end on April 2. Ruling alliance members Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP can comfortably win a seat each, as a single candidate needs 37 votes.
— With PTI inputs
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