Shiv Sena on Tuesday decided to field a hard-core Shiv Sainik Sanjay Pawar, who is the Kolhapur district chief, for the second Rajya Sabha seat. This aims to checkmate Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje, who also hails from Kolhapur after he rejected Shiv Sena's offer to join the party to get the ticket. Sambhajiraje has decided to contest as an independent. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut announced that Sanjay Pawar will be the party's candidate for the sixth Rajya Sabha seat. He further added that a formal announcement will be made soon.
The party has already decided to nominate Raut for the fourth successive time for the RS poll. Pawar will be for the second seat as Shiv Sena has excess votes after party legislators cast their votes for Raut. In addition, Shiv Sena allies NCP and Congress have already announced that they will support the nominee declared by Sena.
‘’The Shiv Sena will contest two Rajya Sabha seats and ensure victory in both,’’ claimed Raut.
Raut took a dig at Sambhajiraje, who was insisting on support from the Maha Vikas Aghadi for his candidature, saying that "Kings are kings because of soldiers."
He said the chapter for the sixth RS seat is now over. ‘’We respect Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje, his family and the throne which is why we asked him to join the Shiv Sena so that he can contest as the sixth candidate for the polls.``
"He has to go to Rajya Sabha and wants to contest as an Independent. He needs 42 votes. If anyone has 42 votes, he can win the Rajya Sabha polls," Raut added.