Mumbai: Change is in the air as far as Rajya Sabha nominees from Maharashtra are concerned. The BJP, Congess and Shiv Sena in the state have junked veterans in giving candidature for the Rajya Sabha election slated for March 26.
The BJP has nominated Aurangabad Municipal Corporation's former mayor Dr Bhagwat Karad for it's third seat. The party has ditched veteran leader Eknath Khadse whose name was doing the rounds.
This is the second denial in row for Khadse after he was denied the party ticket in the state assembly election held last year. The election is due for seven seats from Maharashtra.
Karad, who hails from the politically important OBC Vanjari community, enjoyed proximity with the former union minister late Gopinath Munde and now he is close to his daughter and former Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde.
Along with Karad the party has also nominated Union Minister Ramdas Athavale and Chhatrapati Shivaji's descendent Udayanraje Bhosale.
The duo filed their nominations today while Karad will file on Friday which is the last date for filing nomination for the election slated to the Upper House on March 26.
However, Karad's nomination is also a signal to sulking Pankaja Munde to wait more for her rehabilitation. Chances of Pankaja Munde's nomination for the election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council slated for next month also seem grim as Munde also belongs to the Vanjara community.
In case of Congress party too, the party will nominate former MP and party leader Rahul Gandhi's close confidante, Rajeev Satav. The official announcement is expected tonight or early Friday morning.
By selecting Satav, Congress has ditched veterans including former Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, former MP Rajani Patil. Satav, who was elected from the Hingoli Lok Sabha seat in 2014, did not contest the general election held in May 2019.
Satav is currently general secretary in charge of Gujarat and he has been quite active in the revival of the Congress party there. He has been the leading spokesperson of the party to argue the party's case in the public and on electronic media.
In Shivsena the party has selected Priyanka Chaturvedi for the Rajya Sabha seat from Maharashtra over Former MP Chandrakant Khaire who lost to the MIM's Imtiaz Jaleel in 2019 general elections. Chaturvedi following differences with Congress high command quit the party last year and had joined the Shiv Sena.
It is believed that her candidature had the tacit support and blessing of Thackeray scion Aditya Thackeray. In his reaction, Khaire said even though the party has not considered him for nomination he will remain with Shiv Sena till his last breath. Sena will announce Chaturvedi's nomination tonight or early morning tomorrow.
Meanwhile, NCP is hopeful to get approval from Shiv Sena and Congress to nominate one more candidate. Already NCP chief Sharad Pawar had filed his nomination on Wednesday however expects a nod from Shiv Sena and Congress to share their excess votes so that NCP can field one more candidate. The party may nominate former minister Fauzia Khan.