Meena's rejoining BJP will help make Rajasthan Congress-free: Raje

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje today said she was confident that tribal leader and MLA Kirori Lal Meena's coming back to the BJP will be a step towards making the state Congress-free.

The chief minister said this outside the Rajasthan Assembly after Meena filed his nomination for the biennial Rajya Sabha elections.

Meena, who had separated from the BJP in 2008, rejoined the party yesterday along with his two National Peoples Party (NPP) MLAs.

He, as the state president of the NPP, which he had joined in 2013, also merged his party with the BJP.

"Meena will walk shoulder-to-shoulder in making the state Congress-free", Raje said, adding that the BJP will form government in the Centre and in Rajasthan.

The chief minister was accompanied by state BJP president Ashok Parnami.

Meena, after filing his nomination, saidWe will work for the Mission-180 seats in the Rajasthan Assembly election slated this year-end."

"I will also try to convince other BJP dissidents to join main stream and raise the issues of people of the state in Rajya Sabha, he said.

Sitting Rajya Sabha MP Bhupendra Yadav, Meena and veteran party leader Madan Lal Saini today filed three sets of nominations each as the BJP candidates for the biennial Rajya Sabha elections from Rajasthan.

Returning officer Akhil Arora administered oath to the candidates after filing the nomination.

A BJP spokesperson said that all three leaders were welcomed at the party's state office today and they later filed nominations for Rajya Sabha seats from Rajasthan at the Legislative Assembly.

Meena along with Yadav and Saini were chosen as the Rajya Sabha candidates, the spokesperson said.

Opposition Congress had previously announced that it would not field candidates for the biennial Rajya Sabha election.

The tenure of Yadav and two Congress MPs Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Narendra Budania is expiring on April 3.

Today was the last date for filing of nominations. Scrutiny of nominations will take place on March 13, whereas last date for withdrawing names will be March 15.

Voting will take place on March 23 from 9 am to 4 pm and counting will be done on the same day at 5 pm.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)