Foreign Minister Jaishankar files for Rajya Sabha nomination from Gujarat

Virendra Pandit Gandhinagar | Updated on June 25, 2019 Published on June 25, 2019

External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar arrives in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, to file his nomination for the Rajya Sabha by-election as a BJP candidate, on Tuesday   -  AMIT DAVE

Meanwhile, SC rejects Congress’ plea against separate polling

External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and three other candidates filed their nomination papers here on Tuesday for the by-elections to two Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat. The seats were vacated by Union Ministers Amit Shah and Smriti Irani upon their election to the Lok Sabha in May.

The last date for filing of nominations was Tuesday. Polling will be held on July 5.

Diplomat-turned-politician Jaishankar was inducted into the NDA government on May 30. He joined the BJP in New Delhi on Monday. Jaishankar and Jugalji Thakor filed papers as BJP candidates, while Gaurav Pandya and Chandrikaben Chudasma filed nominations as Congress candidates.

Thakor is a BJP leader from North Gujarat. Both Jaishankar and Thakor are contesting their first-ever elections.

Jaishankar, who arrived here on Monday, and Thakore were accompanied by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, his Deputy Nitin Patel, State BJP chief Jitu Vaghani and other ministers while filing their nomination papers in the Vidhan Sabha.

Separate polling

The Election Commission (EC) recently announced separate polling for the by-elections to the two vacancies, a decision which was challenged by the Congress in the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, the apex court turned down the plea and directed the Congress to approach the EC with its complaint.

The Congress was hoping to win at least one seat. With the Supreme Court rejecting its plea, the BJP has the upper hand. The EC has maintained that separate polling for vacant RS seats in a by-elections has been a decades-old tradition.

The Congress is expecting support from Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP)’s Chhotu Vasava, an NCP MLA and an Independent, too. But the Congress is wary of the possibility of the party’s rebel MLA Alpesh Thakor and some of his supporting legislators cross-voting in favour of BJP candidates.

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Published on June 25, 2019
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