Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Mar 10 (ANI): Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane on Saturday accepted the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) offer for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls from the state.

Maharashtra Swabhiman Party (MSP) chief Narayan Rane will file his nomination papers on March 12. He will meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis later in the day.

In 2005, Rane quit Shiv Sena to join the Congress Party and in September last year, he ended his over-a-decade-long association with the Congress.

Rane subsequently formed his own party, MSP, and allied with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

There will be 59 vacancies in the Rajya Sabha in April, including 17 from the BJP and 12 from the Congress party. Three nominated members – actor Rekha, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and social worker Anu Aga – will also retire then.

Out of the BJP’s 17 Rajya Sabha members, eight are union ministers.

Earlier in the day, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda filed his nomination papers as the BJP candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat from Himachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will contest from Uttar Pradesh and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from Bihar.

The BJP will field Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot from Madhya Pradesh for another Rajya Sabha term.

Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Mansukh L. Mandaviya and Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala will contest election from Gujarat.

Parliamentarian Bhupender Yadav will also be seeking re-nomination from the Rajasthan seat. (ANI)

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.