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Mar 13, 2018 10:39 PM IST | Source: PTI

Rajya Sabha polls: Nomination of independent rejected; contest may still take place

March 15 is the last date for withdrawal of nominations and polling, if needed, will be held on March 23.

The nomination of the lone independent candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh was on Tuesday rejected during scrutiny, but a contest will still take place if three of the 13 candidates left in the fray do not withdraw their papers on March 15.

At the end of scrutiny, there were 13 candidates for 10 seats, principal secretary in the UP Vidhan Sabha Pradeep Kumar Dubey told PTI. He said the nomination Mahesh Chandra Sharma was rejected, he said.

March 15 is the last date for withdrawal of nominations and polling, if needed, will be held on March 23.

The BJP candidates in the fray are Union Finance Minister Jaitley, Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, Harnath Singh Yadav, Anil Kumar Agarwal, Salil Bishnoi, Vidyasagar Sonkar and party's national spokesman GVL Narasimha Rao.

The main opposition SP has fielded Jaya Bachchan, while the BSP has given ticket to dalit leader Bhimrao Ambedkar.

A candidate needs 37 first preference votes to emerge victorious. Arithmetically, the BJP can easily win eight out of the 10 seats for which election will take place.

The BJP and its allies have 324 seats, after the party's Noorpur MLA died recently in a road accident, in the 403-member Assembly. It will still be left with 28 surplus first preference votes after ensuring victory of eight of its candidates.

Naresh Agarwal's entry into the BJP yesterday gave an interesting twist to the Rajya Sabha battle in Uttar Pradesh, as the former Samajwadi Party heavyweight declared that his MLA son will vote for the saffron party, a move that may upset the BSP candidate's applecart.

The BSP, with 19 MLAs in the 403-member Assembly, is already short of 18 first preference votes, and with Agarwal's son Nitin likely to vote for the BJP, the task will be all the more difficult for Mayawati's candidate.
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