Ramdas Athawale is president of Republican Party of India (Athawale) RPI(A)
Union minister Ramdas Athawale and BJP leader Udayanraje Bhosale, the 13th direct descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, today filed their nomination papers for the March 26 biennial Rajya Sabha poll from Maharashtra.
Mr Athawale is president of Republican Party of India (Athawale) RPI(A) and a BJP ally while Mr Bhosale is a former Lok Sabha member from Satara in western Maharashtra.
Mr Bhosale won last year's Lok Sabha poll but quit the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to join the BJP on the eve of state assembly polls held in October. He contested the Satara Lok Sabha bypoll as BJP nominee but lost to NCP.
BJP on Thursday nominated former Aurangabad mayor Dr Bhagwat Karad as the third candidate for the Rajya Sabha poll and Amrish Patel for the Legislative Council bypoll.
Mr Patel, a former Congress leader, joined the BJP on the eve of the Assembly polls. NCP chief Sharad Pawar filed his papers for the Rajya Sabha poll on Wednesday. The last date for filing of nomination is March 13.
Besides Mr Pawar, the Rajya Sabha terms of Mr Athawale, Congress' Hussain Dalwai, Shiv Sena's Rajkumar Dhoot, BJP's Amar Sable, BJP-backed Independent Sanjay Kakade and NCP's Majeed Memon will end on April 2.
Ruling alliance members Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP can comfortably win a seat each, as a single candidate needs 37 votes.