Cong leaders for fielding Paswan for RS from Delhi

Paswan is out in the cold since his shock defeat from his pocketborough of Hajipur and some Congress leaders are now advocating with the leadership his rehabilitation by helping him come to the Upper House.

Congress sources said with DPCC President JP Agrawal vacating his Rajya Sabha seat from Delhi, Paswan could be considered for the by-election.

After having lost all eight seats which his party contested in the Lok Sabha election in Bihar, Paswan's party recently showed signs of revival by winning three legislative council seats in the recently-concluded elections for the Upper House in Bihar.

The section in Congress wants to do business with Paswan in Bihar and keep RJD chief Lalu Prasad at bay.

The Congress leaders believe that revival of the Congress is possible only if it distances itself from Prasad as upper caste voters are supposed to be against RJD there.

Moreover, the party believes that keeping Paswan will help it in consolidating Dalit votes even in Uttar Pradesh.

The appointment of Meira Kumar as Lok Sabha Speaker has already sent a positive signal among the Dalits, they feel. The Congress moves to build bridges with Paswan comes at a time when the party is on a collision course with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in the wake of the Rita Bahuguna Joshi controversy.

The election for the Rajya Sabha seat in Delhi is yet to be announced by the Election Commission.

Soon after Paswan had lost from Hajipur, Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh had offered Paswan the Ferozabad Lok Sabha seat, which was vacated by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's son Akhilesh Yadav, who had won from two seats.

However, Paswan did not evince interest in contesting the Lok Sabha seat, although UP is not new to the LJP chief from where he had contested elections in past.

There were also talks to get him elected for Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh with SP's support. RJD chief Lalu Prasad was also reportedly in favour of getting him in Rajya Sabha.

RJD and LJP had contested the Lok Sabha election together distributing 38 of the total 40 seats in Bihar among themselves, which had led Congress to contest separately from them in the Hindi state.

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