BJP nominees Ram Chander Jangra, Dushyant Kumar Gautam and Congress' Deepender Singh Hooda, all candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections from Haryana, filed their nominations here on Friday. All three Rajya Sabha seat aspirants submitted their nomination papers for the elections on Friday -- the last day fixed for the purpose. They are set to enter the Upper House of Parliament unopposed.
The scrutiny of papers will take place on March 16 while the last date for withdrawal of nominations is March 18. Jangra and Gautam were accompanied by Chief Minister M L Khattar, Home Minister Anil Vij, state BJP chief Subhash Barala and some party legislators.
No JJP legislator, which is the BJP's coalition partner, were present. JJP organised a rally in Panipat on Friday to commemorate the birthday of its chief patron Ajay Singh Chautala. Deepender was accompanied by a majority of Congress legislators from the state including his father and former chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, when he submitted nomination papers to Returning Officer Ajit Balaji Joshi.
Speaking to reporters on the occasion, Khattar said his party candidates are all set to enter the Rajya Sabha. Both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress had named their candidates on Thursday. BJP named its backward classes leader Jangra and party vice-president Gautam while Congress named its former MP from Rohtak.
Earlier, amid a race between Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja and Deepender for nomination to the Parliament's Upper House from the state, the party opted for the latter. Selja, who was not present when Deepender filed his nomination, however, tweeted extending best wishes to him. Senior Congress leaders Kiran Choudhary and Kuldeep Bishnoi, who are both legislators, were also not present on the occasion.
Notably, the two Rajya Sabha vacancies are due to resignation of BJP's Ram Kumar Kashyap, who was elected as party MLA in assembly polls last year, and the expiry of Kumari Selja's term next month. Jangra and Deepender entered the race to fill these vacancies which will last a full term till April 2026.
A third vacancy which necessitated a by-election arose following the resignation of former Union minister and BJP leader Birender Singh and Gautam is set to enter the Upper House for the remainder of the term, which will last till August 2022.
Deepender had been a three-time Lok Sabha member from Rohtak. In 2019, he narrowly lost to BJP's Arvind Sharma as the saffron party won all 10 parliamentary seats from the state.
He also thanked party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Haryana Congress president Selja, Leader of Opposition in Haryana Assembly and his father B S Hooda and all the legislators from the state “who supported him”.
He said he will raise his voice for the farmers, poor, youth and other sections like he used to when he was a Lok Sabha member, if elected to the Rajya Sabha.
When asked whether Selja was reportedly unhappy with his nomination, Deepender said that was not the case.
“After my candidature was announced by the party, I met her at her residence (in Delhi) on Thursday night. I sought her blessings and she told me that her blessings are with me,” he said.
When queried about Kiran Choudhary and Bishnoi not being present here, Deepender quipped, “I have blessings of all the 31 (Congress) MLAs.” In the 90-member Haryana assembly, the BJP has 40 MLAs while its alliance partner JJP has 10. The main opposition Congress has 31 members while six out of seven independent MLAs have extended support to the BJP-JJP coalition government. The INLD has one MLA while one member belongs to the Haryana Lokhit Party.