Narayan Rane among 18 BJP candidates announced for Rajya Sabha polls

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On the other hand, Congress president Rahul Gandhi approved a list of ten candidates, which include only fresh faces as all out going members, barring senior leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, have been denied re-nominations.

Polling will be held on March 23 and the results are expected to be declared the same evening. Before the announcement of the candidature, there were huge speculations and all sorts of permutation-combination among the insiders in the party and in the media.

Meanwhile, in Gujarat, the BJP fielded three candidates on its mandate to counter a possible move by the Congress.

Seven of the 18 names announced by the BJP are from Uttar Pradesh. The name was finalised in the meeting of BJP Central Election Committee which was held in New Delhi on Sunday. "This takes the total number of candidates in the fray to 14, with SP's Jaya Bachchan and BSP's Bhimrao Ambedkar having already filed nominations earlier", returning officer Poonam Saxena told PTI.

Madan Lal Saini and Kirori Lal Meena have been fielded from Rajasthan while Narayan Rane and V. Muraleedharan (Kerala) will contest from Maharashtra.

The BJP list has Anil Jain and Saroj Pandey, its spokespersons Anil Baluni and G V L Narasimha Rao, according to a party statement.

Lt. Gen (Retd.) DP Vats has been nominated from Haryana.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Sameer Urnav will represent Karnataka while Ajay Pratap Singh and Kailash Sonil are from Madhya Pradesh.

Madhya Pradesh (MP) is a shrine for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday.

BJP sources claim that Sonkar and Bishnoi are dummy candidates and they may withdraw on March 15, the last date of withdrawal by candidates.

However, the fight will be between the third candidate of the Congress and JDS's Farooq. "We have chose to join hands with the secular forces against the oppressive and communal politics and chose to vote for the BSP candidate", Lallu said, adding that the central leadership of the party has been apprised of the decision and they have supported it.

In Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu Desam Party has re-nominated C M Ramesh, a businessman.