Gandhinagar: Two candidates each of the ruling BJP and opposition Congress were elected unopposed to as many vacant seats in the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat after their extra nominees opted out of the fray on the last date for withdrawal of nominations on Thursday.
Union Ministers Purushottam Rupala and Masukh Mandavia from the Bharatiya Janata Party and former Union Minister Naran Rathwa and Ami Yagnik from the Congress will enter the Rajya Sabha after the issuance of a notification on their election, an official said.
Those who opted out on Thursday are BJP’s Kirsitsinh Rana, independent nominee backed by Congress legislators P.K. Valera, and dummy candidate Rajni Patel.
“We have issued the notification to declare all four as elected to the Rajya Sabha,” said A.B. Karova, Assembly’s Assistant Deputy Secretary and the Returning Officer for Rajya Sabha elections.
The formal announcement on March 23 Rajya Sabha election results will be done on March 25. “However, with no elections required in the state, the Returning Officer can issue a notification on the election results without waiting for the final date,” a senior Election Commission official said.
The BJP, following some issues related to documents required to be submitted by tribal leader Naran Rathwa, had fielded Kiritsinh Rana, along with dummy candidate Rajni Patel. The Congress too put up Valera as an independent. Another independent P. Moolani too filed his nomination, taking the total number of candidates in the fray to eight.
After scrutiny, Moolani’s candidature was rejected due to lack of the requisite number of proposers.
The BJP even approached the Election Commission to demand that Rathwa’s candidature be cancelled.
With the BJP having 100 legislators in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly and the opposition Congress having 81 members, both could easily send two candidates each to the upper house of Parliament. The minimum first preference votes required by any candidate is 37.