BJP declares candidates for March 23 RS polls

Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav with Jaya Bachchan

"A meeting of Congress Legislature Party was held and after consulting the MLAs, we have made a decision to vote for the BSP nominee", CLP leader Ajay Singh Lallu said.

The Congress has only 13 MLAs but chose to field former Union Minister Naik as its candidate.

Prominent names in the list include Konkan strongman Narayan Rane (Maharashtra), who quit Congress past year, Kirori Lal Meena (Rajasthan), BJP's prominent TV-face GVL Narasimha Rao (Uttar Pradesh), National General Secretary Anil Jain (UP) and national media coordinator Anil Baluni (Uttarakhand).

The Trinamool Congress has already announced its support for Singhvi's candidature.

The Congress has given a Rajya Sabha ticket to, a staunch Gandhi family loyalist and veteran journalist from Mumbai. The party did not consider a Lingayat for a seat although former minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa's name is said to have been discussed. What could make it even more hard for him is the fielding of a Vokkaliga Congress candidate, Chandrasekhar, complicating matters for the Vokkaliga dominated JD (S). TRS president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, announced on Sunday the names of Joginapalli Santosh Kumar, Badugula Lingaiah Yadav and Banda Prakash Mudiraj as candidates. Several leaders, including Mamata Banerjee, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren of the JMM have extended support to Rao's proposal, according to the TRS.

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The last date of filing nominations is tomorrow, scrutiny of nomination papers would take place on March 13 and the last date of withdrawal is March 15.

Mr Baluni, who heads the party's media departments, has been fielded from Uttarakhand while Mr Rao, a spokesperson and psephologist as well, will file his nomination from Uttar Pradesh.

The list of 18 BJP candidates was released by the Bharatiya Janata Party Central Election Committee for ensuing biennial elections to the council of states.

In Telangana, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi has the capability to win all the three Upper House seats in Parliament comfortably, with 90 MLAs.

The Union Health Minister's term was scheduled to expire on 2 April.

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