Congress’s Rajni Patil elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha after BJP candidate withdrew nomination
After Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) withdrew its candidate for Rajya Sabha (RS) seat, Congress’s Rajani Patil was declared elected unopposed on Monday. In the absence of the required strength in the legislative Assembly, Maharashtra BJP decided to withdraw its candidate Sanjay Upadhyay from the fray.
BJP had fielded its Mumbai general secretary and north Indian leader Sanjay Upadhyay as its candidate last week. Upadhyay on Monday withdrew his nomination form at Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai.
BJP decided to withdraw the nomination as it has no numbers in legislative Assembly to elect the RS candidate. Besides its tally of 106 MLAs, the party enjoys the support of around ten more members from smaller parties and independents, which is too less to elect the candidate by polling 145 votes.
“After Congress leaders Balasaheb Thorat and Nana Patole requested leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis by personally meeting him to withdraw the candidate, the party decided to pave the way for an unopposed election of Congress candidate. The decision was taken by core committee of state unit of the party. We respected Congress’s request to elect their candidate from the seat fallen vacant because of the demise of the sitting MP,” a statement issued by BJP reads.
BJP had picked a north Indian candidate to send out a message in the community ahead of the Assembly polls to Uttar Pradesh and civic body polls in Mumbai early next year. North Indians accounts for more than 20% population of Mumbai.
The election was necessitated because of the demise of sitting Congres MP Rajiv Satav, who was 46, died due to the post-Covid complications in Pune in May.
“Since there were only two nominations under consideration, we announced Congress candidate elected unopposed after the withdrawal of the other candidate. The swearing in of the newly elected member, will be decided by the Rajya Sabha,” said Rajendra Bhagwat, principal secretary, Maharashtra legislature.
Rajni Patil, 62, who is currently the party’s in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir, served as Rajya Sabha MP for five years until April 2018 on the seat fallen vacant after the demise of former Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. She was elected to Lok Sabha in 1996 from Beed as a BJP candidate. She is considered to be very close to party president Sonia Gandhi and has been preferred over other aspirants including Mukul Wasnik, Milind Deora among others. The party has believably picked Marathwada leader for the seat represented by Satav, who too was from the region.
Upadhyay said, “As per the directives by the party, I have withdrawn my nomination. I am thankful to the party leaders Devendraji Fadnavis, Chandrakantji Patil for the opportunity given to me.”