Mumbai, Jan 27: The BJP has given up its Rajya Sabha seat in Maharashtra to accommodate Ramdas Athawale, the chief of its junior ally, the Republican Party of India-A, a party official said here Monday.
Athawale will file his nomination Tuesday, the last date for filing the nominations, on a ticket given from the BJP’s quota, said RPI spokesperson Mayur Borkar.
A constituent of the grand alliance comprising the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena-RPI-Swabhimani Sanghatana, the RPI now also becomes a member of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Borkar said.
The BJP quota seat is at present held by its spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, who is among the seven retiring Rajya Sabha members from the state.
The Shiv Sena has not yielded one of the two Rajya Sabha seats held by it from the state, and has already re-nominated industrialist Rajkumar Dhoot for one while yet mulling on the other name.
In a related development, former union minister and senior Congress leader Murli Deora and former state minister Hussain Dalwai filed their nominations for the Feb 7 Rajya Sabha biennial elections here Monday.
The Deora-Dalwai duo was re-nominated for a third and second term respectively by the Congress high command.
So far, union Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, ace criminal lawyer Majeed Memon (also NCP), Dhoot and Pune businessman Sanjay Kakade, contesting as an Independent, are in the fray for the seven Rajya Sabha seats.