Arun Jaitley files nomination for Rajya Sabha polls from Uttar Pradesh

Congress secures allies for Rajya Sabha polls aims to challenge BJP-led NDA in 2019 elections

Samajwadi Party candidate Jaya Bachchan on Friday filed nomination for Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh at the state assembly in Lucknow in presence of Sahara Group Chairman Subrata Roy and party MP and former state chief minister Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav.

The poll outcome, if elections need to be held, will be announced on March 23.

Assembly polls in Karnataka are just months away, and the current Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in the state will finish its full term of five years on May 28 - a feat no party has managed since 1985.

While Singhvi will represent the party from West Bengal, Niranbhai Rathwa and Amee Yajnik have been selected over many other seniors from Gujarat. Consequently, Congress has named L. Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrashekhar.

On the other side, Congress has also released the list of 10 names for Rajya Sabha.

From Rajasthan, BJP has nominated Kirodi Lal Meena, who joined the party again on Sunday after leaving it a decade ago.

With Congress fielding a Vokkaliga leader, the JD (S) will have the hard choice of backing its own candidate or voting for a Vokkaliga, its main support base. "We are hopeful of winning all three sears", said Congress leader Paresh Dhanani, who is the leader of Opposition in the state assembly.

Besides Union Minister of State Parshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandavia, the ruling BJP has fielded senior leader Kiritsinh Rana, stating there could be cross-voting due to Valera's nomination as a third candidate backed by the Congress.

"There is infighting in the Congress and they are confused about their candidates".

The BJP has fielded Rajeev Chandrasekhar, while the JD (S) has fielded businessman BM Farooq.

"MIM party has made a decision to support TRS party candidates in Rajya Sabha elections", he said on a social networking site. Political observers, however, believe given their strenuous relations, it will be a herculean task for BJP leadership to convince Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to have his MLAs cast votes in its favour.

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