Elections to four Rajya Sabha seats from the State are scheduled on Mar.23.
The BJP on Monday queered the pitch for Rajya Sabha elections by fielding additional candidates in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, putting to test the attempts to forge an Opposition alliance.
Other BJP leaders who have been nominated include Madan Lal Saini from Rajasthan, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) DP Vats from Haryana, Ajay Pratap Singh and Kailash Soni from Madhya Pradesh, and Sameer Uranv from Jharkhand. Former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane's name also appears among the list of candidates from Maharashtra. The Congress candidates are L. Hanumanthaiah, G.C. Chandrasekhar and Syed Naseer Hussain, and BJP candidate is Rajeev Chandrashekar, who is seeking a second term, as his first term as an Independent member ends on April 2. Three nominated members - actor Rekha, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and social worker Anu Aga - will also retire then. However, the fight will be between the third candidate of the Congress and JDS's Farooq. All the candidates are nearly certain to win due to party's strength in respective state assemblies. One of its leaders PK Valera has filed his nomination as an independent candidatewith the support of some CongressMLAs. Former Union minister in the UPA-I Akhilesh Singh, who was earlier with the RJD but joined the Congress on the eve of 2009 Lok Sabha elections, submitted his nomination on the last day as the Congress nominee.
Muraleedharan had come second in the Kazhakootam Assembly constituency in 2016 polls, pushing the sitting Congress legislator to the third position.
"MIM party has chose to support TRS party candidates in Rajya Sabha elections", he said on a social networking site.
In Bihar, where six seats are up for grabs, BJP ally JD (U) has now named Mahendra Prasad and B N Singh. Fearing defections and allegedly facing threats, the Congress had then packed off its MLAs to a luxury resort near Bengaluru.
Among the other Union Ministers who would be contesting the RS polls are Thawar Chand Gehlot, Mansukh L Mandaviya, Parshottam Rupala, Jagat Prakash Nadda and Ravi Shankar Prasad.
However, state Congress President Bharatsinh Solanki said both Yagnik and Rathwa would win their seats.