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BJP on Sunday night nominated former Kerala unit chief V Muralidharan from Maharashtra in its bid to expand its base in the state.

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.

It has opted for Kirori Lal Meena, an influential caste leader who had fought against it in the last Assembly polls in Rajasthan, as its candidate from the state where it is perceived to be facing anti-incumbency against the Vasundhara Raje government.

The Congress may lose a few seats in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections, but the entire process is likely to be favourable for the party. A candidate needs 44 votes to win and Congress is confident of winning three seats comfortably as the party can count on the support of some independents and 7 JD (S) rebel MLAs.

There will be 59 vacancies in the Rajya Sabha in April, including 17 from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and 12 from the Congress party.

Madan Lal Saini will be the second BJP candidate from Rajasthan.

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Two BJP leaders Ajay Pratap Singh and Kailash Soni will be trying their luck for Upper House from Madhya Pradesh. An alliance for Rajya Sabha polls is likely to be favourable to mount a challenge to the NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Singhvi will be nominated from West Bengal, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had already pledged her party's support to him.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi will contest from West Bengal, where he will be supported by the state's ruling TMC.

Santosh Kumar has been a close associate of the Chief Minister taking care of the latter's daily activities for the last 17 years.

With appeals from the State BJP leadership to field a Kannadiga, the BJP top brass is likely to name Shivamogga district BJP President Rudregowda for the seat later today.

The Congress's decision to field a candidate in Telangana is surprising as it is in not a position to win a seat.


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