Congress general secretaries Digvijay Singh and Madhusudan Mistri are among five Congress nominees for Rajya Sabha elections announced on Monday but suspense still remains on whether former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit will join them.
The party is yet to decide its nominees from Haryana and Assam. Though Dikshit’s nomination from Himachal Pradesh or Haryana was being talked about, the AICC on Sunday named Viplove Thakur from Himachal. The attention, therefore, has now shifted to Haryana.
According to sources, the Congress high command wants to accommodate Dikshit who has served as Delhi Chief Minister for 15 years. Singh, the former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh who had taken a vow not to fight any election after drubbing at the hands of Uma Bharti-led BJP in 2003, has for some time been expressing his readiness to contest Lok Sabha polls. His nomination for Rajya Sabha has taken many by surprise as other names were doing the rounds.
Similarly Mistri, who has been nominated from Gujarat, isa key strategist of Congress for the next Lok Sabha polls and has been assigned the responsibility to carry out a survey in all 543 Lok Sabha seats and prepare a separate list of candidates for them to tally with findings from other channels. Mistri, a known detractor of Narendra Modi, had only last week said that he wanted to contest from his native Banaskantha seat in Gujarat.
From Andhra Pradesh, Congress re-nominated all the three sitting Rajya Sabha MPs, K V P Ramachandra Rao, M A Khan and T Subbarami Reddy, AICC general secretary in-charge Organization Janardan Dwivedi said.
Khan hails from Hyderbad. From Assam, the name of Sultanpur MP Sanjay Singh is doing rounds amid reports that he was keen to be accommodated in Upper House so that he can be used for campaigning in adjoining Amethi Parliament seat represented by Rahul Gandhi.
The party on Sunday announced the names of seven candidates, including Motilal Vora, Murli Deora and Ranjib Biswal from Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Odisha respectively. Hussain Dalwai was also re-nominated from Maharashtra. Other nominees were Viplove Thakur from Himachal Pradesh, Haji Abdul Salam from Manipur, and Wansuk Syiem from Meghalaya. Tuesday is the last date for filing nominations for the February 7 polls and the scrutiny will be held the next day. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is January 31.
The least number of women candidates have been fielded by the Congress which has given tickets to just five women contestants.