Former prime minister Manmohan Singh Monday was elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan Monday.
With his election, Singh becomes the lone Congress representative from Rajasthan in the Parliament, since all other Rajya Sabha MPs from the state – nine – are from BJP as well as the 24 Lok Sabha MPs, who were elected earlier this year. The 25th LS MP, Hanuman Beniwal, is backed by the BJP and was elected from Nagaur through his party, the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party.
Former Rajasthan Home Minister and Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan Assembly, Gulab Chand Kataria, had earlier announced that the BJP will not field any candidate against Singh. Monday was the last day of withdrawal of candidature.
The election in Rajasthan was necessitated following the demise of BJP’s unit president Madan Lal Saini in June. Having been elected to the Rajya Sabha in March last year, Saini’s tenure was till April 3, 2024.
Singh, 86, will serve the remainder of the tenure.
Earlier this week, after filing his nomination, Singh had thanked the Congress party, along with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and other leaders, for nominating him. He had said: “I recognise that there are sad circumstances in which the vacancy has arisen and I convey my heartfelt condolences to the members of the Saini family. With these words, I once again express my gratefulness to the people of Rajasthan and the Congress party for giving me this unique privilege of serving the people of Rajasthan in the council of states.”
Singh has earlier represented the state of Assam in Rajya Sabha for five consecutive terms between 1991 and June 2019.
Had the BJP fielded a candidate, the polls would’ve held on August 26. However, apart from 100 of its own MLAs in a 200 member Assembly, Congress has support of at least 19 other MLAs, including Independents, as well as MLAs from the BSP and RLD.
We congratulate Former PM Dr. Manmohan Singh on being elected as a Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan. His repository of knowledge, dedication to his work & years of experience will benefit all. pic.twitter.com/V71T6gGZOi
— Congress (@INCIndia) August 19, 2019
“We congratulate Former PM Dr Manmohan Singh on being elected as a Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan. His repository of knowledge, dedication to his work and years of experience will benefit all,” the Congress party Tweeted.
Congratulating Singh, Rajasthan CM Gehlot said that, “Dr Singh’s election is a matter of pride for entire state. His vast knowledge and rich experience would benefit the people of Rajasthan a lot.”