Union Science and Technology Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Saturday filed his nomination for the Rajya Sabha elections scheduled for March 30. The Congress has re-nominated Rajiv Shukla from Maharashtra.
The terms of six Rajya Sabha members from Maharashtra will end on April 2.
The Nationalist Congress Party's nominee is Vandana Chavan, who is a former Pune Mayor. The party is yet to announce the other candidate since two of its members — Govindrao Adik and Ranjit Singh Mohite Patil — are retiring this year.
Meanwhile, a Pune-based builder Sanjay Kakde filed his nomination as an independent camdidate on Friday. A seventh standard pass-out, Mr. Kakde has assets estimated at Rs. 250 crore and has strong political connections, notably in the NCP. He is claiming the support of independents and political parties already and could skew the NCP's chances if it decides on a second candidate.
Republican Party of India (RPI) leader Ramdas Athawale has not been given nomination by the Shiv Sena. Mr. Athawale was reportedly promised one for allying with the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the corporation elections in the State. Even as the alliance benefited in Mumbai, winning in areas like Dharavi, the RPI, however, managed to win only one seat.
The Sena's nomination of Anil Desai to the Rajya Sabha has caused deep resentment in the RPI leadership that expressed its unhappiness at a press conference.
“We are going to meet Bal Thackeray and Uddhav Thackeray soon to tell them of our disappointment,” Sumantrao Gaikwad, senior leader of the RPI, said. “They have failed to follow the principles of an alliance. Our votes helped them earn seats in the prestigious Mumbai and Thane civic elections, but we got nothing in return. Though we had not asked for anything, they should have themselves offered a seat to Ramdas Athawale,” Avinash Mahatekar of RPI said.
But the leaders clarified that they were not going to break away from the alliance at least till the 2014 general elections. Mr. Athawale is in New Delhi to meet the BJP top brass, it was learnt.
The BJP has nominated Ajay Sancheti for the seat being vacated by Bal Apte. Mr. Sancheti, a confidante of BJP president Nitin Gadkari, was in the news a while ago with regard to his “proxy” application for a flat in Adarsh society in the name of his driver, which was denied.