Union minister Narayan Rane, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national secretary Vijaya Rahatkar, former minister Pankaja Munde, Amrish Patel etc are in discussion to contest elections for Rajya Sabha seats while there is curiosity as to who will get a chance from the BJP in the elections to be likely held on February 27 in Maharashtra for the six Rajya Sabha seats.
The state BJP core committee meeting was held two days ago at Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ residence. Some names were discussed in the meeting.
Sources said that it has been decided to send these names to party leaders. There have been experiences in the past where party elites either accepted the names suggested to contest elections or changed them.
Former minister Harshvardhan Patil, State BJP Mahila Aghadi (Women’s Cell) president Chitra Wagh, Mumbai’s Sanjay Upadhyay are also in discussion.
State BJP Vice President Madhav Bhandari’s name is being discussed every time for Rajya Sabha elections but he has not got a chance yet.
Also, although Pankaja Munde’s name has been constantly in the news in recent years, she too has not got a chance to contest in Rajya Sabha.
It is believed that the BJP will decide the Rajya Sabha candidate on the basis of regional balance, caste factor, candidates keeping in mind the Lok Sabha elections, opportunity for women etc.
BJP will contest three out of six Rajya Sabha seats. One seat will be given to Shiv Sena and one to NCP. There is almost no chance of BJP contesting the fourth seat.
The name of BJP General Secretary Vinod Tawde may come up in due course. It is likely that party leaders will soon take a decision whether to keep him in the party organization or to give him a chance in the Rajya Sabha or to give him a chance to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai.
Originally from Kerala, Union Minister of State V. Muralidharan has been elected to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra. Along with Narayan Rane and Prakash Javadekar, Muralidharan’s tenure in the Rajya Sabha is coming to an end. Also, Lok Sabha’s Model Code of Conduct will be implemented within 15 to 20 days after the Rajya Sabha elections.