A Pune-based real estate developer and businessman has thrown his hat in the ring for a Rajya Sabha seat. Sanjay Kakade filed a nomination as an independent candidate on Wednesday in Mumbai.

He is known to be close to NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

Mr. Kadade, who has declared assets worth Rs. 485 crores, has studied till 7th class.

Maharashtra MLAs will vote for seven Rajya Sabha candidates on February 7. The State has an 18-member representation in the Upper House. According to the parties' strength in the State Assembly, Congress and NCP each field two candidates, and Shiv Sena and BJP field one each. It is the seventh seat that Mr. Kakade is hoping to clinch. Sources told The Hindu that 17 independent MLAs have agreed to back him, and he will need 18 more votes to get the seat.

This is not the first time that the businessman has shown interest in the Rajya Sabha seat. In 2012, when the State was voting for six seats, his candidature would have created a hurdle for unopposed polls, given that each party would otherwise vote for its own candidate and independent MLAs would back one of them.

Mr. Pawar had requested him to withdraw the nomination, clearing the ground for unopposed polls. In a press conference announcing his withdrawal, Mr. Kakade had said, “I never wanted to contest elections against NCP or go against Mr. Pawar. So when NCP fielded their official candidates, I decided to withdraw. I did not want any infighting in Maharashtra. I have not been offered any MLC seat or anything else in return.” However, sources told The Hindu that Mr. Kakade was promised that his wish would be taken care of in 2014, when more Rajya Sabha seats are available.

According to the affidavit filed to the Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Kakade has the highest amount movable assets in the Kakade Estate Developers Pvt Ltd. He and his wife own 10,000 shares in the company, which are valued close to Rs. 73 crores. Other investments include shares in companies owned by him, with different names such as Kakade Developers Pvt. Ltd, Kakade Construction Company Private Limited, and Kakade Properties. He has also invested in mining, power, retail and healthcare. He and his spouse also own shares in companies named after their children, called Komal Kakade Construction Pvt Ltd and Vikram Kakade Construction Pvt Ltd.

However, the largest contribution to his wealth comes from “immovable assets” in the form of property valued at Rs. 111 crores. His wife, Usha Kakade, also owns property worth Rs. 23 crores. Mr Kakade has also listed a liability of Rs. 262 crores. In 2012, he had declared assets worth Rs. 350 crores.

Mr. Kakade was unavailable for comment.