Mumbai/Kolkata, Mar 17: Union Ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Mukul Roy, Actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan and BJP's Vinay Katiyar were among eight candidates who filed their nomination papers today for the Rajya Sabha biennial polls.
The last day for filing of nominations for the March 30 elections is March 19. All the eight candidates filed their papers before the Returning Officers of the state Assemblies concerned.
AICC Spokesman Abhishek Singhvi and three journalists—Kunal Ghosh, Nadimul Haque and Vivek Gupta, all Trinamool Congress nominee—were the other candidates who filed their papers. Jaya is one of the six Samajwadi party candidates.
Roy, Union Minister of State for Shipping and Trinamool Congress' all-India general secretary, Ghosh, Haque and Gupta filed their papers in Kolkata as Trinamool nominees.
Trinamool chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present at the time of filing of the papers. Roy, who is Trinamool's candidate to replace Dinesh Trivedi as Union Railway Minister after his removal was demanded by the party, has been renominated for a second term.
Mamata defended her party's decision not to support Congress nominees in the elections to the Upper House from West Bengal.
As the Trinamool gave a seat to the Congress in the earlier election to the Rajya Sabha, the party was this time expected to support the Trinamool in this election, she said.
Deshmukh filed his nomination papers in Mumbai. He was accompanied by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, state unit Congress president Manikrao Thakre and party ministers Narayan Rane, Balasaheb Thorat, Harshvardhan Patil, Satej Patil, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and MLC Ulhas Pawar among others.
The Union Science and Technology Minister is among the six members from Maharashtra whose Rajya Sabha membership term ends on April 2.
A former Rajya Sabha member, Jaya Bachchan filed her in Lucknow in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and other party MLAs.
Jaya was earlier elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2004 as SP nominee and completed her term in 2010. She, however, refused re-nomination.
She is the sixth SP nominee to file her nomination for the Upper House.
Naresh Agarwal, Kiranmay Nanda, Darshan Singh Yadav, Brijbhushan Tiwari and Munawwar Saleem filed their nominations yesterday.
SP, which has a strength of 225 (with one Independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya) in the House of 403 can send six members to the Rajya Sabha.
Katiyar, a BJP nominee, also filed his papers in Lucknow in the presence of senior party leaders Kalraj Misra, Suresh Khanna, and Hukum Singh were among those who were present on the occasion.
Singhvi, a Congress sitting Rajya Sabha MP, filed his papers in Jaipur.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, PCC Chief Chandrabhan, party Chief Whip Raghu Sharma, Deputy Chief Whip Ratan Devasi were among others present.
The Congress has renominated Singhvi and senior MP Narendra Budania from Rajasthan for the biennial elections for three seats to the Rajya Sabha.