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Mission Rajya Sabha: Cong, BJP locked in a tough contest

New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) The Congress and BJP are entangled in a bitter fight over the Rajya Sabha elections at a time when the grand old party is witnessing an exodus of MLAs in two states — Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The Kamal Nath-led Congress government is passing through a critical phase and the matter has reached the Supreme Court.

Sources in Congress say the party has appointed two observers in Rajasthan — Randeep Singh Surjewala and T.S. Singhdeo — to oversee elections in the state. The BJP has fielded a second candidate — even though the party is slated to win only one seat from the state — Onkar Singh Lakhawat in Rajasthan.

B.K. Hariprasad and Rajni Patil have been appointed observers for Gujarat. In Madhya Pradesh, Mukul Wasnik and Harish Rawat have been handed the responsibility of managing the MLAs.

These three states, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, are likely to see a tough battle between the BJP and Congress.

The TMC-backed independent has made the contest tough in West Bengal for the Congress-backed CPM candidate.

Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel has claimed that more Congress MLAs are set to resign from the party.

The BJP wants to retain its number in the Upper House but in Haryana, the party has not pushed for contest where the government is surviving on the support of Dushyant Chautala-led JJP and Independents.

In Maharashtra too, there is no contest and all the candidates will get elected unopposed.

The Congress can defeat the BJP in Jharkhand where it has fielded the third candidate. The BJP needs 27 votes but has only 26 and the election will depend on the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).

Congress in-charge of Jharkhand R.P.N. Singh expressed confidence that his party will sail through.

The Congress has 18 MLAs and with surplus votes of the JMM, and also if the AJSU decides not to vote for the ruling coalition, the BJP candidate Deepak Prakash is likely to lose.

JMM leader Shibu Soren is set to go to the Rajya Sabha. In Bihar, there is no contest. Also, in Chhattisgarh, the Congress is set to win two seats.

–IANS

miz/pgh/prs

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CanIndia New Wire Service

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