Selja gets ticket, quits Cabinet

Rajya Sabha Polls: May get a bigger role in Haryana Assembly polls this year.

New Delhi | Updated: January 28, 2014 11:50:07 pm


Selja with Bhupinder Singh Hooda after filing papers in Chandigarh, Tuesday. Selja with Bhupinder Singh Hooda after filing papers in Chandigarh, Tuesday.

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Kumari Selja has resigned from the Union Cabinet and is set to be drafted for party work ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Selja’s resignation came after she was nominated to the Rajya Sabha from her home state Haryana.

Selja’s nomination to the Upper House came as a surprise as she is an MP from Ambala Lok Sabha constituency. Although the Congress is planning to replace Haryana PCC chief Phool Chand Mullana, sources said it is unlikely that Selja may land the job but indicated that she could play a larger role in the Assembly elections scheduled later this year.

There is also a likelihood of she being appointed as an AICC general secretary. “I have resigned. I want to work for the party full time,” Selja told The Indian Express.

Selja — a four-time MP and a prominent Dalit face of the party in Haryana — submitted her resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh late Monday night and filed her nomination papers for Rajya Sabha Tuesday.

She was accompanied by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Selja — a Gandhi family loyalist — is a known detractor of two-time Chief Minister Hooda.

A cheerful Selja shook hands with Hooda after filing her nomination papers but Hooda faction leaders were visibly anxious.

Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) nominee Ram Kumar Kashyap also filed his papers. With the numbers on their side, both will be elected.

The Congress — which is vacating two seats in Rajya Sabha with the retirement of Ram Prakash and Ishwar Singh — is set to lose one.

Talking to reporters, Selja claimed that she was lobbying for another term for Ishwar Singh but the party gave her the responsibility. Responding to another question, she said, “I consider it my promotion. I have resigned from the Cabinet. Now, I can work for the party not only in Ambala but also in the entire state.”

She praised Ishwar and hoped he would get the Lok Sabha ticket from Ambala.

With ENS, Chandigarh

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