A short while after 2:30 PM, almost half an hour before the 3-PM deadline for filing of papers, Rathwa turned up along with state Congress leaders at the office of Returning Officer here and submitted his papers.
Political observers say the TMC extending support to Singhvi in the Rajya Sabha polls from West Bengal is a clear indication of an emerging alliance between the Mamata Banerjee-led party and the Congress, in a bid to stop the BJP's juggernaut in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. "I have resigned due to personal reasons", she said.
Later, BJP's Rana also filed his nomination as a third candidate for the party. The day started with a buzz that Rathwa may not file his nomination in absence of required documents. Taking a chance, the BJP sprang a surprise and tend to demolish the joint opposition by fielding three more candidates thus taking their tally of RS aspirants to 11.
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The Congress has 123 members, including Speaker, BJP - 43, JD (S) - 37, Badavara Shramikarra Raithara Paksha - 3, Karnataka Janata Paksha - 2, Karnataka Makkala Paksha - 1, Independents - 8, and nominated - 1.
"The objections raised by the BJP during the scrutiny process of our Rajya Sabha candidates lack substance".
The BJP said the delay in filing of nomination by Rathwa and the entry of Valera as an Independent show there was an intense "infighting" within the party.
However, in the given situation, BJP would essentially rely on the independent candidates while hoping for a defection in BSP, SP and Congress camps. However, Congress leaders rubbished it as a rumour and reiterated that the tribal leader would arrive to file his nomination. Deputy chief minister Nitin Patel alleged, "Congress continues to suffer from factionalism".
The BJP asked its two party leaders, Vidya Sagar Sonkar and Salil Vishnoi, along with a Ghaziabad-based businessman Anil Agarwal to file papers on Monday. "Earlier also BJP played this lowly game during Ahmed Patel ji's election and now again, but Rathwa ji's nomination is absolutely correct and he will win comfortably", Surjewala said.
On rest two seats up for grabs then, BJP president Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani won comfortably.