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Shah, Smriti in Rajya Sabha fray

Ready for the race: Union Minister Smriti Irani files her nomination for Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, in Gandhinagar on Friday.

Ready for the race: Union Minister Smriti Irani files her nomination for Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, in Gandhinagar on Friday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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File nomination papers in Gujarat, where Congress has been hit by defections

BJP chief Amit Shah, Union Minister Smriti Irani and newly inducted former Congress MLA Balwantsinh Rajput, who resigned on Thursday and joined the saffron party, filed their nomination papers for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls on Friday.

While Mr. Shah and Ms. Irani were nominated by the central leadership a few days ago, Mr. Rajput, who was Congress’ chief whip in the Assembly, was declared the BJP’s third candidate shortly after he quit both from the House and the party.

Patel’s rival

Mr. Rajput is pitted against senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, who has been renominated for the August 8 Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat.

Of the total 11 Rajya Sabha members from the State, the term of three — Ms. Irani and Dilipbhai Pandya (both BJP) and Ahmed Patel — is ending on August 18.

The Congress nominee can sail through if he musters the support of 47 MLAs. In the 182-member Assembly, the strength of the Congress has gone down to 51, as six of its MLAs have resigned. While three MLAs, including Mr. Rajput quit on Thursday and joined the ruling party, as many resigned on Friday.

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2019 8:52:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/shah-smriti-in-rajya-sabha-fray/article19380655.ece

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