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Battle for three vacant Rajya Sabha seats: Leaders gear up as polling for upper house on March 26

Days after his shock switch to the saffron camp shook the Congress, Jyotiraditya Scindia filed his nomination for the Rajya Sabha as a BJP candidate on Friday. Five other candidates, including veteran Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh, have put themselves in the fray for three vacant RS seats from the state.

Polling will be held on March 26. The deadline for filing nominations ended on Friday. “A total of six candidates have filed nominations for three vacant seats,” said Awadhesh Pratap Singh, principal secretary of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Friday. Two other BJP candidates, former minister Ranjana Baghel and Professor Sumer Singh Solanki, also filed nominations on the last day.

While Digvijaya filed his nomination on Thursday, another Congress candidate Phool Singh Barraiya entered the fray on Friday. The sixth candidate vying for an Upper House seat from the state is Ram Das Dahiwale.In West Bengal, former Trinamool MLA Dinesh Bajaj filed his nomination as an Independent on Friday. He is vying for an Upper House seat with support from the ruling Trinamool. While the Mamata Banerjee-led party has already nominated four candidates for the Rajya Sabha, the Congress and CPI(M), which fought the last Lok Sabha polls in alliance in the state, have jointly nominated former Kolkata mayor and CPI(M) veteran Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya.

The battle lines have also been drawn for the three Upper House seats from Assam. There are three candidates in the fray — Bhubaneswar Kalita of BJP, Biswajit Daimary of BJP ally Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) and journalist Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, who is the consensus candidate of Opposition Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF).