With the 10 Rajya Sabha seats set to fall vacant soon with the incumbents completing their tenure, lobbying among leaders across the political parties has intensified.
Since the Samajwadi Party will be gaining the maximum seats — six — the lobbying is most here. Those vying for the seats, say insiders, are those who lost in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year. But the fight is on mainly for the five seats as nomination of leader Ramgopal Yadav, brother of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, is being treated as confirmed.
And the names making rounds for the remaining five seats are that of Neeraj Shekhar, Reoti Raman Singh, Shafiqur Rehman Barq, Ramjilal Suman who all lost Lok Sabha polls are again vying for Rajya Sabha nomination. Ashok Bajpayee who was replaced at last moment as candidate from Lucknow seat too is a serious contender for Rajya Sabha.
Intense lobbying is on for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats which will fall vacant on 25 November.
Term of several important leaders including Amar Singh, Ramgopal Yadav from Samajwadi Party, Kusum Rai from BJP and Akhilesh Das, Brijesh Pathak and independent Mohammad Adeeb will end in November.
Going by the numerical strength in state assembly, the Samajwadi Party can easily get six seats, Bahujan Samaj Party can manage two and BJP and Congress with support of Rashtriya Lok Dal can get one each seat.
In Samajwadi Party, several leaders who lost the Lok Sabha elections recently, are now eying for Rajya Sabha nomination from the party. With Ramgopal Yadav’s nomination being treated as confirmed, lobbying is on for five remaining seats.
SP camp is also abuzz with speculation that Mulayam may field only five candidates and allow Amar Singh to sail through as an independent. It is likely that only one Muslim candidate will be fielded by SP making things tough for Muslim leaders. Presently, SP holds only two Rajya Sabha seats which are getting vacant in November.
In BJP, Lalji Tandon who had vacated Lucknow seat for Rajnath Singh and Mayor Dinesh Sharma who has been appointed national vice president are strong claimants for the seat.
For BSP, it will face maximum loss in Rajya Sabha as term of six of its MPs are ending next month and now it can send only two of its leaders in Rajya Sabha. Sources in BSP claimed that Mayawati may field one Muslim candidate and former MP Akbar Ahmed Dumpy is a strong claimant.
For remaining one seat, sitting MP Rajaram and former Lok Sabha MP Baliram are probable names. MP Brijesh Pathak, Avtar Singh Karimpuri, Brijlal Khabri, Veer Singh and Akhilesh Das whose term will expire are also expecting renomination.
For Congress, it depends on deal with RLD. Both, together can get one seat and there are leaders in both the parties who are vying the Rajya Sabha seat. For RLD, Ajit Singh too has lost the election and will surely try to be in Rajya Sabha.
In Congress, the names doing round include of former union ministers Salman Khursheed and Beni Prasad Verma, both of whom had lost Lok Sabha polls. In previous Rajya Sabha election, RLD had supported Congress candidate Rasheed Masood and Congress reciprocated it in council polls where RLD’s Mushtaq Choudhary became MLC.