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Sambhajiraje to surrender RAJYA SABHA QUEST?
Mumbai: Yuvraj Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, heir to the Kolhapur royal family as the 13th direct descendant of Maratha king, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has almost decided to surrender his quest for a second consecutive Rajya Sabha nomination from Maharashtra.
Sambhajiraje is likely to make a public announcement in this regard on Friday morning, more than two weeks after he announced his intention to contest as an independent candidate.
According to a wellplaced political source, “Sambhajiraje not only got the BJP endorsement to be nominated by the President to the Rajya Sabha but also, was made chairperson of the Maharashtra Government committee for the conservation of forts by erstwhile BJP CM Devendra Fadnavis and also given cabinet minister status. Sambhajiraje did not even canvas for the BJP in the recent byeelections in Kolhapur, won again by the Congress.”
While he enjoyed the presidential nomination for his current six-year tenure that ends on July 04, 2022, on recommendation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi (and the BJP), his efforts for a second consecutive tenure has hit political roadblocks in Maharashtra. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar reportedly nudged Sambhajiraje to seek a nomination from the Shiv Sena, added the source.
As reported by First India, the BJP in turn, offered unconditional support of 28-odd votes it enjoys (along with state political allies), if Sambhajiraje chooses to contest as an independent as he had originally announced.
Either way, the former MP will be unable to muster the 42 votes he requires to ascend to the Rajya Sabha. Neither the BJP nor the MVA political alliance offered to propose Sambhajiraje as first choice (read preferred) candidate. The BJP can elect two Rajya Sabha MPs with the votes its commands (105 MLAs), while the Shiv Sena with 55 MLAs has pulled back its offer of fielding Sambhajiraje.
After his fallout with the BJP, Sambhajiraje unsuccessfully sought a meeting with PM Narendra Modi. He was confident that he would attract the support of enough Maratha leaders in Maharashtra across party lines to ensure his tenure in the Rajya Sabha was renewed.