Gandhinagar: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Tuesday filed his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha poll from Gujarat, scheduled on July 5. Jaishankar reached Ahmedabad Monday evening, hours after he officially joined the BJP in the presence of BJPs working president J P Nadda in Delhi.
Jaishankar, 64, had served as the Foreign Secretary in the previous Modi-led government. He was inducted into the Union cabinet in Modi's second term. Gujarat BJP OBC cell president Jugalji Thakor also filed his papers for the second Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat.
The two seats were vacated after BJP leaders Amit Shah and Smriti Irani were elected to the Lok Sabha last month. As per norms, a minister who is not a member of Parliament has to be elected to either House within six months of his or her swearing in.
Thakor is from Mehsana district and belongs to the dominant Thakor community in the state. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and state BJP chief Jitu Vaghani were present as Jaishankar and Thakor submitted their nomination forms to the returning officer C B Pandya.
The last date of submitting nomination papers is June 25, while scrutiny of papers would be conducted on June 26, and the last date of withdrawal is June 28. Given its strength in the Assembly, the BJP is set to win both the seats, especially as the election will be held separately as per the Election Commissions notification.
Upset over the Election Commissions notification, the Congress had moved the Supreme Court seeking its direction to the poll body to hold the elections to the two seats together, as this gives a chance to the opposition party to win at least one seat.
The apex court refused to entertain the plea. The Congress has fielded Gaurav Pandya and Chandrika Chudasama for the two Rajya Sabha seats.