Congress candidate Kanhaiyalal Gidwani’s decision to opt out of the race for a seat in the Rajya Sabha helped six members from the state get elected to the Upper House in Parliament.
Vijay Darda and Avinash Pande of the Congress, Tariq Anwar and Ishwarlal Jain of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Piyush Goel of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Sanjay Raut from the Shiv Sena were declared elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra on Thursday.
Gidwani, who had filed his papers as an independent candidate, withdrew his papers on Thursday. “Our coordination with our ally, the NCP, and the withdrawal of Kanhaiyalal Gidwani saved the day for us,” Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said.
Polling for the Rajya Sabha elections was slated for June 17 when members of the Assembly would have voted for the candidates. Gidwani told journalists that he was withdrawing his nomination after discussions with the Congress leadership.
Gidwani’s presence in the fray would have posed trouble for NCP's second candidate because the party did not have the strength needed to get two candidates elected.