Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh filed his nomination for the upcoming Rajya Sabha by-elections from Rajasthan on Tuesday.
Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Gulab Chand Kataria stated later in the day that the BJP will not field a candidate.
Singh is expected to sail through comfortably, as the Congress has a majority in the state Assembly.
Singh arrived in Jaipur on Tuesday and filed four sets of nomination papers in front of the returning officer for the by-election, to be held on August 26.
The by-election was necessitated by the death of Rajya Sabha MP and BJP’s Rajasthan unit president Madan Lal Saini in June, which left one Rajya Sabha seat from the state vacant.
How numbers stack up
The Congress has 100 MLAs in the 200-member Assembly, while the BJP has 72. The Congress has support of BSP (6 MLAs), RLD (1), and 12 of 13 MLAs. CPI(M), Bharatiya Tribal Party and Rashtriya Loktantrik Party have two members each, with the latter being part of the BJP-led NDA in the Lok Sabha elections — the party’s chief, NDA candidate Hanuman Beniwal, had won from Nagaur Parliamentary seat.
At present, Rajasthan has nine members in Rajya Sabha, all of them from the BJP.
After filing his nomination, Singh thanked the Congress party, along with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and other leaders, for nominating him. He 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.”