Congress’ Rajni Patil set to be elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has withdrawn its candidate from the Rajya Sabha by-poll for the lone seat to be elected from the members of legislative Assembly. This has paved the way for the election of Congress candidate Rajni Patil to Rajya Sabha.
BJP had fielded its Mumbai general secretary and north Indian leader Sanjay Upadhyay as its candidate last week. Pandey, on Monday, withdrew his nomination form at Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai. He said that he was withdrawing the nomination on the direction of the party leadership.
The BJP did not have numbers in the Legislative Assembly to elect the Rajya Sabha 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 is not enough to elect the candidate which requires 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 the Congress candidate. The decision was taken by the core committee of the party’s state unit. We respected Congress’s request to elect their candidate from the seat which fell vacant due to the demise of the sitting MP,” a statement issued by the BJP read.
The BJP had picked a north Indian candidate to send out a message in the community ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls and civic body polls in Mumbai early next year. North Indians account for about one-fifth of the population in Mumbai.
The election was necessitated because of the demise of sitting Congress MP Rajiv Satav, 46, who died due to post-Covid complications in May.
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 after the seat went vacant due to the passing away 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 close to party president Sonia Gandhi and was preferred over other aspirants including Mukul Wasnik, Milind Deora and others. The party has believably picked Marathwada leader for the seat represented by Satav, who too was from the region.