Rajya Sabha nominations: Hectic parleys on within Congress to zero in on names

first_imgThere have been 57 retirements to the Rajya Sabha in the previous session. Unfortunately, for the Congress it confidently stake claim to 7 seats. With some clever footwork they can sew up some alliances and make the tally go up to 9. For these nine seats, a game of musical chairs has started within the Congress.The states where the congress is confident are –  two seats in Karnataka, one in Maharashtra, one in Uttarakhand, one in Chattisgarh, one in Punjab and one in Madhya Pradesh. Apart from this one seat is up for grabs in Uttar Pradesh with the help of Samajwadi Party and one more if negotiations go well with the JD(S) in Karnataka.Hectic parleys are on within Congress to zero in on the names. Congress President Sonia Gandhi has had several round of meetings with senior leaders. Ghulam Nabi Azad and other senior leaders have been meeting to decide on names but still no conclusion has been arrived at.FOUR NAMES DOING THE ROUNDS There are four specific names doing the rounds for Karnataka they are Oscar Fernandes, Jairam Ramesh, Margaret Alva and P Chidambaram. The Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiha is in Delhi to seal the deal. He met the Congress President Sonia Gandhi today and is being softened up to agree to an outsider and also try and manage a deal with JD S in exchange for the MLC seat in the upper house of the state.In Chhattisgarh, Ajit Jogi is exerting pressure for the lone Rajya Sabha seat. Though Jogi says that ” I am not interested in the job.” But it’s common knowledge that if Jogi is not on board MLAs can even cross vote – a fear which bears heavily on the minds of the Congress top brass. The current incumbent Mohsina Kidwai is not being given a second termadvertisementWhile in Madhya Pradesh an unusual choice is the front runner. Vivek Tankha senior advocate of the VYAPAM is the top contender from the state. Earlier member Vijai Lakshmi Sadho is nowhere in the reckoning. The Congress officially maintains that all this is the decision of the Congress president, spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit says, “The decision of Rajya Sabha nominations lies with the Congress president, she discusses and then decides.”FISH IN TROUBLED WATERSIn Punjab, there is a toss up between the current incumbent Ambika Soni and Sunil Jhakhar the current MLA in the Punjab Assembly. While in Maharashtra it is the former home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde who is in the race, though the current member Avinash Pande is trying hard. In Uttarakhand also the state unit is of the opinion that a local candidate maybe given. The name of former Almora MP Pradeep Tamta is amongst the front-runners.The problem Congress faces in Uttar Pradesh is that the Samajwadi Party needs to be on board. A decision is yet to be reached on this, though senior leaders of both the parties are in touch. A decision is expected over the weekend.The Rajya Sabha is a congress bastion where it exerts pressure over the government. So the congress is not taking any chances and aiming to get maximum seats in this round of Rajya Sabha elections. The final list of candidates can come out anytime after today evening.ALSO READ:  BJP mistaken if they think they can threaten us, says Sonia Gandhilast_img read more