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BJP leader Gotiya enters RS poll fray as independent

first_imgBhopal, May 31 (PTI) Madhya Pradesh BJP leader Vinod Gotiya today filed his nomination papers as an “independent” candidate for the biennial polls to the Rajya Sabha from the state.Though Gotiya filed his papers as an “independent”, his name was proposed by nearly a dozen BJP MLAs. The move is being seen as BJPs attempt to wrest the third seat in the Upper House that is falling vacant from Madhya Pradesh.He submitted his papers to Madhya Pradesh Assemblys Principal Secretary Bhagwan Dev Israni, who is the Returning Officer for the June 11 polls. The entry of Gotiya will force a contest if no candidate withdraws from the fray.BJP has officially fielded noted journalist M J Akbar and senior party strategist Anil Madhav Dave from Madhya Pradesh. Both the candidates filed their nominations today.The party is sure to win two seats on the basis of its strength in the Assembly, while for the third seat it will be short of nine MLAs.”Since we are in a position to comfortably win two seats on the basis of our strength, we have officially fielded two candidates. For winning the third seat, we are short of six votes (party has claimed support of three Independent MLAs) and therefore we have decided to take a chance,” a senior BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.For winning a Rajya Sabha seat, a candidate will need 58 votes and BJP, with 165 MLAs, is sure to bag two seats on its own. After that, it is left with a surplus 49 votes, which probably led the party to take a chance by fielding Gotiya.advertisementThe party is confident of getting the support of three Independents. One of them, Sudesh Rai, accompanied Gotiya when he filed his papers in the Assembly complex.”We have the support of three Independents, taking our tally to 52. We need six more votes to ensure the victory of the third candidate,” the party leader said.Opposition Congress has 57 MLAs and needs just one more vote to ensure the victory of its candidate Vivek Tankha, a senior lawyer who filed his nomination yesterday.The BSP has four MLAs and its role will become crucial in the event of contest. MP Assembly has a total strength of 230 MLAs. BJP has 165 members followed by Congress (57), BSP (4) and Independents (3). One seat (Ghodadongri in Betul district) is vacant and it saw bypoll yesterday.Meanwhile, a release from Vidhan Sabha secretariat said besides Akbar, Dave and Gotiya, one more candidate, Shashi Stela, filed her nomination papers today. Stela, a Jabalpur-based socio-political worker, submitted her papers just before the close of the process, a source said.Five candidates are in the fray for the three vacant Rajya Sabha seats from MP. The scrutiny of nominations will take place on June 1 and the last date of withdrawal is June 3. If necessary, polls will be held on June 11. PTI MAS LAL RSY RCJlast_img read more