Singh's RS term to expire in June

Singh's RS term to expire in June

Singh's RS term to expire in June

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) might be struggling to scotch speculations about early polls, but for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the battle of ballots may not be that far away.

The Election Commission (EC) of India on Thursday announced biennial elections on May 30 to fill two Rajya Sabha (RS) seats from Assam—one held by Singh and another by Kumar Deepak Das of Asom Gana Parishad. The term of both the Rajya Sabha members will expire on June 14.

According to the EC, the necessary notification for filling up the two RS seats from Assam will be issued on May 13. The scrutiny will be done on May 21 while the last date for withdrawal of nominations will be May 23.

The poll panel has said, if necessary, the poll will be held from 9 am to 4 pm on May 30 and counting of votes will be done at 5 pm the same day. Singh had been elected unopposed in the last election.

“The prime minister is yet to express his desire for contesting the elections. But if he does so, party is ready to find him a safe seat in the state,” a senior Congress leader told Deccan Herald.

Singh has been representing Assam in the RS since 1991. He was re-elected to the Upper House from Assam for the fourth straight term in 2007. Singh had contested the Lok Sabha polls in 1999 from the capital’s South Delhi constituency, but lost to V K Malhotra of the BJP.

The prime minister is a permanent resident of Assam. His official address is a “rented” flat in the residence of former Assam chief minister, the late Hiteshwar Saikia, in Guwahati.

“The EC has announced date of election today only. We have not held any discussion on this so far. We will work on it once the discussion starts,” the president of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, Bhuvneshwar Kalita, told Deccan Herald.
Though Singh was yet to express his desire to contest, the party seems to have begun the ground work for the biennial election.

All India Congress Committee general secretary Digvijay Singh was recently on a three-day visit to Guwahati to mend differences within the ruling party. A section in the Guwahati Congress have accused Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi of favouritism.
During his visit to Assam, Singh held separate meetings with both anti-Gogoi and pro-Gogoi factions to end the differences.

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