Raje bete noire Ghanshyam Tiwari fielded as BJP candidate for Rajya Sabha
Jaipur: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Ghanshyam Tiwari, a known Vasundhara Raje bete noire, for the Rajya Sabha elections from Rajasthan. A 6-time MLA, BJP`s candidate Tiwari openly rebelled against former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje during her second tenure.
Tiwari, known for his anti-Raje stand, also left the party during the 2018 Assembly polls and formed his own party. For a short period, he joined hands with the Congress too, but then made a homecoming on the persuasion of the BJP leaders. Tiwari comes from the RSS background with over 45 years of experience in politics.
Tiwari speaking to the media said, “I express my gratitude to the central leadership of the party. I am indebted and grateful to it for choosing me for the job. I also express my gratitude to the state leadership of the party.”
When asked if his selection was a direct message for the Vasundhara camp, IANS quoted him as saying, “I had joined the BJP after forgetting everything. For me all are equal. I will work together with everyone.”
On Sunday, the BJP announced 18 candidates for the June 10 Rajya Sabha polls, fielding Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman from Maharashtra and Karnataka respectively.
Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s name is also missing from his party’s list. It has also not renominated Dushyant Gautam, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and OP Mathur.
The party is yet to announce at least two more Rajya Sabha candidates from Uttar Pradesh. Of the 18 candidates, six are from Uttar Pradesh.
Former BJP MLA Radha Mohan Das Aggarwal who had left his Gorakhpur Urban constituency for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to contest the recent assembly polls was among the candidates.
From Uttar Pradesh, the party has also fielded former state unit chief Laxmikant Vajpayee, sitting Rajya Sabha MP Surendra Singh Nagar and Bauburam Nishad, the chairperson of the UP Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation.
The party has fielded two women — Darshana Singh and Sangeeta Yadav — from the state. Singh is a former state head of the party’s women wing, while Yadav is a former party MLA from Chauri Chaura in Gorakhpur.
The party announced the names of two candidates each from Karnataka and Bihar and one candidate each from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Haryana.
The party has given a ticket to former MLA Krishan Lal Panwar from Haryana in place of Gautam, while Kavita Patidar will be the party’s nominee from Madhya Pradesh, and Kalpana Saini from Uttarakhand.
From Bihar, the party has fielded Satish Chandra Dubey and Shambhu Sharan Patel. The BJP has fielded three candidates from Maharashtra, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Goyal Anil Sukhdevrao Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik.
As per numbers, the BJP will comfortably win two seats while there could be fight on the third. Aditya Sahu is now BJP’s candidate from Jharkhand, from where Naqvi was Rajya Sabha member.
Union Finance Minister Sitharaman and actor-turned-politician Jaggesh will be the party’s nominees from Karnataka.
Elections will be held on June 10 to fill 57 Rajya Sabha seats from 15 states falling vacant due to the retirement of members on different dates between June and August. The last date for filing nominations is May 31.
Notably, the current polls for the Upper House assume importance as it is taking place just a month before the presidential elections.
(With Agency Inputs)