Rajya Sabha Elections 2018: Dates, Results. All FAQs Answered

The BJP claimed that Rathwa had submitted a fake No Dues Certificate and failed to mention serious criminal cases in his affidavit to the Election Commission. However, just minutes before the 3pm deadline, he reached the Assembly with senior Congress leaders and team of lawyers and filed his nomination. Thus this time chances are more for rejecting his nomination. He further questioned that if Rane has accepted BJP's party membership, did he resign from the post of Swabhimani Paksh.

Accusing the BJP of playing "lowly game" in the past as well, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Rathwa's nomination was "absolutely correct". We were honest and truth always wins.

The BJP has fielded Union ministers Purshottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandavia, apart from former MLA Kiritsinh Rana.

Earlier in the day, Suresh Angadi, whip of BJP Parliamentary Party in Gujarat, in a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, alleged that clearances from seven different departments were given to Rathwa in under 50 minutes that enabled him to file his nomination. "Polling and counting of votes will be held on March 23 for all the four seats", added the official.

"We are shocked to find that the application for the "no dues certificate" was made by Rathwa around 2.25 pm on March 12, and the blank certificate was handed over to the office staff of the former MP to get it filled by respective branches and agencies..." The four candidates who filed nomination for Maharashtra are Union Human Resource Minister Prakash Javdekar, former CM Narayan Rane, V Murlidharan and state women commission's Chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar. Returning officer for the election said, "All the nominations will be scrutinised and cleared by Tuesday afternoon".

The Congress fielded Leader of Opposition in Assembly Paresh Dhanani and Shaktisinh Gohil, who swung the last Rajya Sabha polls in favour of Ahmed Patel, to pursue Rathwa's case. (Ahead of RS elections in Gujarat a year ago, Congress had flown all its MLAs to an undisclosed location in Bengaluru.) "We have heard that a few Congress leaders have problems with Rathwa's documents".

The JD (S) on Wednesday made a decision to initiate legal action against the seven rebel MLAs who voted in favour of the Congress candidate during the 2016 Rajya Sabha election.

Vanessa Coleman