The Congress renominated Sunday party treasurer Motilal Vora and ailing former Union minister Murli Deora to Rajya Sabha from Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.
The renomination of the 85-year-old Vora and Deora flies in the face of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s oft-repeated promise to give more representation to youth. Giving another term to Deora also defies logic as he was eased out of the Union cabinet on account of ill health and there is no indication of his health having improved.
The party announced seven candidates Sunday but there was no word on former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. It fielded Viplove Thakur from Himachal Pradesh, contrary to speculation that Dikshit would be nominated from the state. Sources said she could still be accommodated from Haryana where the party is in a position to win a seat. Husain Dalwai was renominated for the second seat in Maharasthra.
While Wansuk Syiem was renominated from Meghalaya, Rishang Keishing was replaced with Haji Abdul Salam in Manipur and former cricketer and Orissa cricket association president Ranjib Biswal was fielded in Odisha. The Congress is two short of the number to elect its candidate in Orissa but sources said it had the support of independents.
Party candidates from Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are expected to be announced Monday.
Sources said the Congress was also likely to field a candidate in Jharkhand, though it is well short of the required number to get its candidate elected. Sources said it was expecting the support of seven independents and the five-member RJD.
The Congress would also field an independent from the minority community in West Bengal. With Left support, it would force a contest as the Trinamool Congress has already announced four candidates. While there are five vacancies, the Left has the numbers to get one seat and it has fielded SFI leader Ritabrata Banerjee.
Among the three candidates in Andhra Pradesh could be bureaucrat-turned-politician and head of the AICC Scheduled Caste department K Raju.