In a surprise move, the Congress on Monday nominated senior general secretaries Digvijaya Singh and Madhusudan Mistry to Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat respectively.
Both Singh and Mistry were keen to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, but the party decided otherwise as both of them hold key organisational responsibilities and are central to its election preparations.
After ending a self-imposed 10-year electoral sabbatical, Singh had some time ago expressed his wish to contest Lok Sabha from Vidisha constituency, the parliamentary constituency of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.
Mistry on the other hand has been nurturing the Sabarkantha seat in Gujarat, which had represented in 2004 but lost in the last election.
The Congress also renominated K V P Ramachandra Rao, M A Khan and T Subbarami Reddy from Andhra Pradesh, contrary to speculation that it could consider bureaucrat-turned-politician and head of the party’s SC department K Raju.
The party has announced the names of nine candidates so far but there is no word yet on whether Sheila Dikshit would be nominated to the Upper House. Sources said the former CM could be accommodated from Haryana where the party is in a position to win a seat.
The Congress is yet to announce its candidates from Assam, where the party has the numerical strength to win two seats.
Birla said her campaign this time is “very similar” to the last time.