Faggan Singh Kulaste, who was charged in the cash-for-vote scam, figures in the list of BJP nominees for the coming Rajya Sabha elections. He was among the three BJP MPs who waved wads of currency in the Lok Sabha during the 2008 trust vote. They claimed that the money was given to them to vote in favour of the UPA government.
Now the BJP has fielded Mr. Kulaste from Madhya Pradesh. Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley has been re-nominated for another term from Gujarat.
Of the 58 vacancies in 15 States to be filled up on March 30, the BJP on its own strength could ensure the victory of 18 candidates. It hopes to get one more candidate elected from Bihar with JD(U) help but there is no certainty yet of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar agreeing to the BJP request.
The BJP's Central Election Committee, presided over by party president Nitin Gadkari, cleared 12 names late on Friday night. A decision on choosing nominees for the other six seats has been left to Mr. Gadkari. The former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Najma Heptullah, BJP general secretaries Ravi Shankar Prasad, Jagat Prakash Nadda and Dharmendra Pradhan are among the candidates nominated by the party.
Its vice-president Vinay Katiyar, a prominent face associated with the Ram Janambhoomi movement and former BJP Uttar Pradesh unit president, has been repeated from the State.
Mr. Nadda has been given ticket to contest from Himachal Pradesh. Mr. Prasad and Mr. Pradhan have been nominated from Bihar.