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RS polls: BJP to announce candidate this evening

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Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi

Rane had recently quit the Congress to join the BJP and has been rewarded with a ticket for the Upper House from Maharashtra. The polls are being held for 58 Rajya Sabha seats across states, of which six are in Maharasthra.

However, Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant said his party had two years ago given its one seat to the NCP during the biennial polls to get Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar and Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde elected. However, it may face a fight in Maharashtra. The party nominated three candidates from Karnataka, including Dalit poet L. Hanumanthaiah and Vokkalinga leader G.C. Chandrasekhar.

Rao hails from Andhra Pradesh, where the BJPs ties with its ally TDP have soured of late with the latter withdrawing its members from the central government. The BJP wants to nurture its own leadership in the Rajbhar community. The NDA's electoral wins over the last four years are set to find reflection in the upper house as the BJP is likely to gain seats from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Jharkhand-states it rules, Mint reported.

There will be 59 vacancies in the Rajya Sabha in April, including 17 from the BJP and 12 from the Congress party.

RJD fielded Manoj Jha and Ashfaque Karim as its party's candidates.

The BSP is counting heavily on the "surplus" votes of the SP, besides support from the Congress and the RLD for the victory of its lone candidate in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections from Uttar Pradesh.

Akhilesh Yadav, who is busy in election-bound Phoolpur in Allahabad, could not make it for the filing of nomination papers of Jaya Bachchan, who, once elected, would serve a fourth term as a Rajya Sabha member.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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