Free Press Journal

Rajya Sabha Elections: Congress names Kumar Ketkar, BJP nominates Kerala’s ex-state president V Muraleedharan


Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced the name of V Muraleedharan, former Kerala state president and sitting national executive member of the party, from Maharashtra for Rajya Sabha biennial election to be held on March 23. During Muraleedharan’s tenure as state president, BJP had secured a vote share of 15.20 per cent in 2016 Lok Sabha election. Earlier, they had a vote share was 8.98 per cent.

Congress party president Rahul Gandhi return to Delhi late on Saturday night. It was expected that the party’s parliamentary board would meet on Sunday to finalise names of candidates. The Congress on Sunday night declared Marathi editor Kumar Ketkar (72) as its candidate from Maharashtra. Ketkar, former editor of Loksatta, is known to be a staunch supporter of late Indira Gandhi and loyal to the Gandhi family.

Meanwhile, finally Narayan Rane, former chief minister and president of Maharashtra Swabhimani Party (BJP) agreed to go to Delhi in Rajya Sabha. He is the candidate of National Democratic Alliance from BJP quota and third candidate of the party is Prakash Javdekar, union minister.

Vandana Chavan, outgoing member of Nationalist Congress Party and Anil Desai, outgoing member of Shiv Sena will continue their term as the respective parties have given tickets to the duo. According to the tally of numbers, three candidates of BJP and each one of Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena can win the RS poll.

Congress can win only one seat from Maharashtra as the party has 42 members in the state assembly and the quota to win the seat is also 42. Since the RS election is not secret and voters have to show the ballot paper to party whip, there is no chance of horse trading and hence, most probably, the election will be held unopposed.