BJP’s D P Vats files nomination, set to under RS from Haryana

Retired Lt General D P Vats, who was chosen by the BJP as its nominee for the lone Rajya Sabha seat in Haryana, today filed his nomination papers and is set to enter the Upper House unopposed.

The seat is being vacated by Congress member Shadi Lal Batra.

While filing his nomination, 67-year-old Vats was accompanied by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, many Cabinet colleagues including Ram Bilas Sharma and Abhimanyu, and BJP legislators from the state.

Later, when Vats was present in the visitors’ gallery of the state Assembly for a brief period to watch the proceedings of the Budget Session, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar informed the House that only one nomination was filed today, the last day of filing papers.

Khattar said once the results are declared, Vats was set to be elected to the Rajya Sabha unopposed. No other candidate had filed the nomination papers for the seat.

The ruling BJP has 47 MLAs in the 90-member House and it is set to win the seat comfortably. The INLD has 19 members, the Congress 17, the BSP and the SAD one each. There are 5 Independents.

Vats, who hails from Hisar, had also served as the director and commandant of the prestigious Armed Forces Medical College, Pune.

He served as the chairman of the Haryana Public Service Commission between May 2011 and April 2012 during the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government in the state.

Before Vats’ name was announced for the seat, the names of party’s senior leader from the state Ganeshi Lal, former Mahendragarh MP Sudha Yadav and BJP’s media in-charge Rajiv Jain were doing rounds.

Talking to reporters here, Vats said that he belonged to a family of farmers and had even played a role in “creating modern outlook of the khaps (or caste councils)”.

“By training and conviction, a soldier is a nationalist,” Vats said before filing his papers and added that a nation where a soldier was respected remained safe and secure.

Once elected, he said, he would raise issues of national importance and never indulge in any kind of petty politics.

He appealed to the people to strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who, he said, was leading the nation on the path of progress.

“I also appeal to all to strengthen the hands of the BJP which is a symbol of the country’s development, and give majority to the party in next elections as well to help maintain the momentum of growth,” he said.

Earlier, Vats thanked the PM, BJP chief Amit Shah and Khattar for reposing faith and confidence in him.

Haryana’s Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma thanked his party’s senior leadership for nominating Vats. He said former Army chief General V K Singh who was given a Cabinet berth in the Modi cabinet also belonged to the state.

Sharma said Haryana constituted just 2 per cent of the country’s land mass, but formed nearly 11 per cent of the nation’s armed forces strength. PTI