Janata Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav, his party colleague Pawan K Verma in Bihar and senior Congress leaders B K Hariprasad and Rajiv Gowda of Karnataka were among the 12 candidates who filed their nominations on Monday on the last day for June 19 elections for Rajya Sabha berths in 4 states.
The battle for the 3 berths in Bihar could witness cross-voting as Yadav, Varma and Gulam Rasool Balyawi, JD-U's official candidates, were joined by as many independents backed by rebels and BJP in the race.
Backed by rebels and BJP, expelled JD-U leader Sabir Ali, real estate baron Anil Sharma, who had unsuccessfully contested recent Lok Sabha election as a JD-U candidate and BJP MLC and its candidate from Kisanganj parliamentary constituency Dilip Jaiswal filed their nominations.
Nearly a dozen rebel JD-U legislators accompanied the three to the filing of papers. Before filling nominations, the three independent candidates held a meeting with senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
Rebel JD-U leader Poonam Devi told reporters in Patna that no candidate has been put up against Sharad Yadav and the three independent candidates would vie for the two other seats against Verma and Balyawi.
Given JD-U's strength in the assembly, its official candidates can be assured of all the three seats.
In Karnataka, ruling Congress decided to dump its veteran leader and former External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and prefer Rajiv Gowda as its candidate for one of the four seats.
With 121 members in the assembly, Congress is assured of two seats and is eyeing another with the support of non-BJP parties in the elections being held to fill four seats.
The age factor might have gone against Krishna, 83, and titled the scales in favour of Gowda, 43, a professor at the Indian Institute of Management here, party sources said.
Gowda was also an aspirant for the Bangalore Central Lok Sabha seat in recent polls but failed to get party ticket.
Murmurs of unhappiness over rejection of Krishna emerged when Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President G Parameshwara said "I do not know the reason behind of Congress High Command leaving out Krishna's name from contesting polls. But the decision has hurt me".
In Odisha, young film actor Anubhav Mohanty filed nomination papers as a ruling BJD candidate for the lone Rajya Sabha seat which fell vacant. Given BJD’s numerical strength of 117 in the 147-member assembly, Anubhav’s election is certain.
A candidate each of ruling Congress (Ronald Sapa Tlau) and opposition Mizo National Front (L Ramkinlova) filed nominations to contest the the lone Mizoram Rajya Sabha seat.
Congress has 34 members in 40-member state Assembly, while MNF five legislators and its junior partner the Mizoram People's Conference one.