Gujarat RS polls: BJP continues to raise objections against Congress candidate

Rajya Sabha Representational image | PTI

Even as nomination papers of the BJP and the Congress candidates for the four Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat were accepted on Tuesday, the drama is far from over as the ruling BJP continued to raise objections over the 'no due certificate' presented by one of the Congress candidates.

Naran Rathwa, former Union minister of state for railways, submitted a 'no due certificate' from Parliament Secretariat, which is normally necessary for any former MP, contesting Rajya Sabha elections.

It is feared that Rathwa submitted an old certificate, although it is necessary to submit a new certificate.

State BJP president Jitu Vaghani told reporters that after receiving orders on their various objections, they would take up the issue further.

The BJP claimed that Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has asked the Delhi police to look into the matter. The BJP wants to know as to when the certificate, which has been submitted, was issued. Congress' national spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil maintained that no orders were issued by the Lok Sabha speaker.

Apart from Rathwa, the nomination papers of another Congress leader, Amee Yagnik, and P.K. Valera, a Congress leader who is contesting as an independent candidate, have also been accepted.

From the BJP, nomination papers of Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Parshottam Rupala and Kiritsinh Rana were accepted.

Both the BJP and the Congress have the numbers in the assembly to send two members each to the upper house.

Questioned if the BJP would ask Rana to withdraw his candidature, Vaghani said it would be decided.

Rathwa alleged that the BJP had unnecessarily raised objections to his candidature to stop a tribal from going to the upper house.

The announcement of the names of Rathwa and Yagnik had led to discontent among the Congress' rank and file. Gujarat Congress women's wing president Sonal Patel on Monday had resigned from her post, in protest of the move.

If necessary, election will be held on March 23.