Jaitley files nomination papers for RS polls

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday filed his nomination papers for the biennial polls for 10 Rajya Sabha seats from the state, officials said.

Accompanied by senior Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and ministers in the state cabinet, Jaitley filed the nomination papers in the central hall of the state assembly building.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has named Jaitley and seven others for the eight seats it is sure to win based on its strength (324 with allies) in the state assembly.

The others include Sakaldeep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, G.V.L. Narsimha Rao, Ashok Bajpayi, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar and Harnath Singh Yadav. Monday is the last day for nominations.

Speculation is rife that the BJP might name a ninth candidate as well by the time the nomination process closes later in the day.

The BJP has 28 extra votes and needs 37 to get its ninth candidate cruise through. It is already learnt to have won over four independents in the state assembly leaving it with just a few more votes needed for its 9th candidate.

BJP strategists are eyeing disgruntled elements in the Samajwadi party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BJP) along with the Congress in order to facilitate its ninth candidate to win.

The BSP has named former legislator Bhim Rao Ambedkar as its candidate while the SP has nominated actress-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan for the fourth time.

The poll outcome, if elections need to be held, will be announced on March 23.