Former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane, BJP general secretaries Anil Jain and Saroj Pandey and its spokespersons Anil Baluni and G V L Narasimha Rao are among the 18 names announced by the party today as its candidate for the upcoming biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha.
Other party candidates are Kirodi Lal Meena and Madan Lal Saini from Rajasthan, former Kerala party president V Muraleedharan from Maharashtra, Ajay Pratap Singh and Kailash Soni from Madhya Pradesh, entrepreneur Rajeev Chandrasekhar from Karnataka, Sameer Uranv from Jharkhand and Lt. Gen. (retd) D P Vats from Haryana.
Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakaldeep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam and Harnath Singh Yadav, besides Jain and Rao, are its candidates from Uttar Pradesh, the statement said.
The party's choices for the Rajya Sabha indicate an effort on its part to strengthen its social equations in the states going to the polls this year and also to bolster its position in Andhra Pradesh where it has been traditionally weak.
All the candidates are almost certain to win due to party's strength in respective state assemblies. The biennial elections will be held on March 23 and tomorrow is the last date for filing the nominations.
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