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Speculation ends as BJP names Anil Baluni for RS seat from Uttarakhand

Originally from Pauri Garhwal district, Anil Baluni is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah

dehradun Updated: Mar 11, 2018 22:14 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
Rajya Sabha Polls,RS Polls,Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Originally from Pauri Garhwal district, Anil Baluni is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.(HT Photo)

BJP late on Sunday named party’s national media head Anil Baluni as its nominee for the upcoming biennial elections to the lone Rajya Sabha seat in Uttarakhand.

The election will be held on March 23 and March 12 is the last day for filing nominations.

State BJP media co-in-charge Shadab Shams confirmed that the party has announced Baluni’s candidature. “Our party has announced his (Baluni) name as its candidate for the lone Rajya Sabha seat from the state,” Shams said. “A decision in that connection was unanimously taken by our party’s central parliamentary board at a marathon meeting held in Delhi on Sunday.”

Baluni will file his nomination papers Monday and will be elected unopposed. The Congress, which has 11 MLAs, has already announced that it would not be in the fray.

Originally from Pauri Garhwal district, Baluni is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president chief Shah.

Along with Baluni, former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, BJP’s state in-charge Shaym Jaju and party’s state unit president Ajay Bhatt were doing the rounds as possible RS nominee. Besides, names of BJP national secretary Tirath Singh Rawat and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s son Shaurya Doval were also doing the rounds.

A BJP leader familiar with party affairs said the Bahuguna was the high command’s first choice for the Rajya Sabha seat.

Former Congress heavyweight along with nine party MLAs joined the BJP in the wake of the 2017 assembly election.

“Our party brass wanted to reward Bahuguna with the Rajya Sabha seat for causing a split in that party (Congress), which immensely contributed towards the BJP’s win in the assembly polls,” he said. “But the high command finally chose to keep him in reserve as it might field him from the Tehri Lok Sabha seat in the next (2019) parliamentary elections.”

First Published: Mar 11, 2018 21:37 IST