Cong stares at bleak prospects in RS polls

Party facing washout in R'than, TN and Odisha

Cong stares at bleak prospects  in RS polls

The Congress is staring at a washout in Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Odisha in the elections to 55 Rajya Sabha seats which will fall vacant in April.

The party hopes to win 16 seats across as many states which fall vacant between April 2 and April 28. The elections will be held on February 7 with the notification scheduled to be issued on Tuesday.

The terms of Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan and controversial former Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan are coming to an end this April and there virtually is no hope for any Congress nominee of getting elected to the Rajya Sabha as the party does not have the numbers.

In Rajasthan, Prabha Thakur’s term comes to an end on April 9 and the party–which has only 21 members in the 200-seat state Assembly–is not in a position to elect any member to the Council of States.

Ramchandra Khuntia’s term in the Upper House ends on April 2. The Congress has only 27 MLAs in Odisha, three short of the number required for being elected to the Rajya Sabha.
In Andhra Pradesh, the Congress holds five of the six seats falling vacant in April and it can ensure victory for only three members. The party has 146 MLAs in the Assembly, enough to ensure smooth passage for three candidates.

It will have to seek support of parties like the Telangana Rashtra Samiti and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, which looks highly uncertain.

In Chhattisgarh, the party is expected to re-nominate senior leader Motilal Vora, while in Gujarat the name of Shaktisinh Gohil is doing the rounds.

In West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress has already nominated actor Mithun Chakraborty, noted painter Jogen Chowdhury, industrialist-turned-politician K D Singh and editor of a Bengali daily Ahmed Hassan as its candidates.

The Congress expects to win two seats in Assam, one each in Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Manipur, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh.

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