The BJP has fielded Union Minister Piyush Goyal, as well as its senior leaders Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections to six seats from Maharashtra, and senior party leader Devendra Fadnavis asserted that all of them will win.
The three BJP leaders filed their nomination papers today for the Rajya Sabha polls scheduled on June 10.
The BJP has enough votes to win two seats on its own. Maharashtra's ruling alliance partners Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have the votes to get one candidate each elected separately, but together they can get another candidate elected to the Upper House of Parliament.
Banking on this arithmetic, the Sena has decided to field two candidates -Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar - in the elections.
With the BJP fielding a third candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls, Sena MP Raut accused their former ally of horse-trading.
Responding to the charge, Mr Fadnavis said, "We don't want to indulge in horse-trading. All our three candidates will win. They (the ruling alliance partners) have to decide." "If our three candidates and their three candidates will be in the fray, the question of horse-trading will not arise. But, even if they contest (on four seats), we will not indulge in any horse-trading and all our three candidates will win," the leader of opposition in the state Assembly said.
The NCP has fielded senior leader Praful Patel, while the Congress has fielded Imran Pratapgarhi --- who hails from Uttar Pradesh and heads the party's minority cell. Taking a dig at the Congress, Mr Fadnavis said, "All our candidates are from Maharashtra, all are politically active. So, I am confident that some will use their good sense and vote for our candidate." "When we have filed the nomination for the third candidate, it is evident that it has been a well-thought out decision," the former state chief minister said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)