Sonia Gandhi may opt for Himachal Pradesh Rajya Sabha seat

New Delhi: The Congress is gearing up to announce 10 seats for the February 27 Rajya Sabha elections. According to insiders, Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi is considering taking the Rajya Sabha route from Himachal Pradesh. Other leaders in contention include Congress treasurer Ajay Maken, general secretary Bhanwar Jitendra Singh, and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, among others. The deadline for filing nomination papers is February 15.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has previously criticised the Congress, suggesting that its leaders lacked the confidence to contest the general elections and were seeking the Rajya Sabha route to enter Parliament.

The Congress is optimistic about winning Rajya Sabha seats from various states, including three seats in Karnataka, two in Telangana and one each in Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. Maken is expected to receive a nomination from Telangana state , while Dr Singhvi may represent his home state Rajasthan. Madhya Pradesh former chief minister Kamal Nath is vying for a seat in his state.

In Maharashtra, where Congress has 44 MLAs and needs 42 to win a seat, the competition is intense. Congress Bandra East MLA Zeeshan Siddique's resignation from the party amid speculation that he would be joining Ajit Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) could complicate matters. Insiders suggest that Professional Congress chief Praveen Chakravarthy or former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan may be considered for the seat.

In Karnataka, the Congress is apprehensive that one or two of its 135 MLAs switching sides could result in the party one of the three assured seats. The Congress is also working towards stitching up the support of independents. Congress MP Syed Nasir Hussain is likely to be re-nominated, while the party is considering local leaders.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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