8 candidates for 4 seats of Rajya Sabha in Gujarat, here’s all you want to know


– There are four vacant seats of Rajya Sabha. As per the strength in the assembly, BJP and Congress both will win 2 – 2 seats.

– BJP had announced the names of Parshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandavia for two winnable seats. Both are MoS in Centre and existing Rajya Sabha members. Both filed their nomination forms today.

– Congress last evening announced the names of Amiben Yagnik and Naran Rathwa as candidates for two winnable seats.

– The last date of filling nominations is today. Nominations were to be filed before 3 pm today.

– While Congress candidate Amibe Yagnik filed nomination well ahead of 3 pm time limit, Rathwa delayed it to 2.30 pm due to some technical issues related to his nominations. Rathwa took advice of lawyers, consulted Shaktisinh Gohil and filed form post 2.30 pm.

– Citing that Rathwa’s nomination could be in trouble in technical scrutiny, Congress high command asked Rajiv Shukla to rush to Gujarat and file nomination for Rajya Sabha seat. However Shukla couldn’t reach Ahmedabad due to closure of Sardar Patel airport here due to recarpetting of runaway.

– Citing possibility that Naran Rathwa’s nomination could be invalidated in scrutiny, BJP fielded Kiritsinh Rana as third candidate.

– Congress asked Ahmedabad based former civil service officer and party leader PK Valera to rush to Gandhinagar and file Rajya Sabha nomination as independent to play safe in case if Naran Rathwa’s form is invalidated during scrutiny. Valera was one of aspirants for Rajya Sabha nomination. He had even met Rahul Gandhi in Delhi seeking his nomination. Valera was supported by Congress MLAs for his nomination.

– By 3 pm which was the time limit to file nominations, BJP fielded three candidates while Congress fielded two official and one independent candidates.

– All eyes are now on the date of scrutiny of nominations and the last date of withdrawal.

– Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel while speaking to media persons post 3.00 pm said, ‘due to internal groupism and central leadership’s indecisiveness, expected names were not declared by Congress party which resulted into uneasiness among Congress leaders, therefore Congress leader PK Valea filed nomination as independent candidate. There’s chance of rebellion and cross voting in Congress, citing which we too have decided to field former Limdi MLA and former minister Kiritsinhji Rana.

– Nitin Patel said there’s possibility that Congress may take its MLAs outside the State in order to avoid rebellion, disregarding the fact that assembly session is underway. Nitin Patel said, independent candidate PK Valera had no mandate from Congress. Congress could field Valera as party’s official candidate. He could withdraw his nomination form later. Nitin Patel said none of Congress leaders including leader of opposition were present in question hour in the assembly today. Patel said BJP has some extra first preference votes even after electing two candidates safely. Such votes could be transferred to Kiritsinh Rana.

Total 8 candidates in fray

Meanwhile a total of 8 candidates have filed the nomination forms for Rajyasabha polls for 4 seats from Gujarat due to be vacant on April 2. According to the returning office A B Karova these candidates are –

BJP (3) – Parshottam Rupala, Mansukh Mandaviya and Kiritsinh Rana

Congress (2)- Ameeben Yajnik, Naran Rathwa

Independents (3) Rajni Patel, P Moolani and P K Valera

The scrutiny of papers would be done tomorrow while the last date for withdrawal of names was March 15.The election if needed would be held in the banquet hall of the assembly building on fourth floor on March 23.

Karova said that the 8 candidates have filed their papers in total 13 sets of which Ruapla and Mandaviya have filed in 3 sets each. Some Congress MLAs have supported the candidature of P K Valera.

Permission for landing of Shukla’s aircraft at Ahmedabad airport was sought but denied

Amid the speculation about fielding IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla as a last minute choice of Congress for Rajyasabha seat in Gujarat on the last day of nomination today a top official of the Airport Authority of India today confirmed that a permission for landing of his chartered plane was in-fact sought.

‘As due to ongoing re-carpeting work of the runway at the SBVP international airport here, no flight operations were being done between 10 am to 7 pm, a special permission was was sought for landing of his aircraft but it was not allowed,’ the official said.

Notably, of the two official candidates of Congress, one Naran Rathwa, the former MoS for Railways could not file his papers till the last hour on the last day of nomination today owing to unavailability of some important no dues certificates. After that reports emerged that Congress was going to field Shukla in his place and that his chartered plain was ready for take off but could not owing to flight restrictions at Ahmedabad airport here.

Rathwa, filed papers in the last hour and Congress as a changed strategy fielded its leader P K Valera as independent supported by it for a sort of back-up arrangement in case of the rejection of the nomination of Rathwa on technical grounds.

Notably, a Lucknow bound flight from here which had to make an emergency landing on the airport owing to technical snag was allowed to take off during restricted hours as a special case.