Sanjay Singh, Kumari Selja, Cong's RS nominees

The Congress on Tuesday nominated Sanjay Singh, a Lok Sabha member from Sultanpur, and Haryana leader Kumari Selja to the Rajya Sabha.

The nomination of Singh  from Assam is seen as part of the party’s efforts to ensure a safe passage for vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who will be contesting for a third term from Amethi.

Singh is from the royal family of Amethi and has a considerable clout in the region, which still reveres him as king. The Congress leader was unhappy with the party and was learnt to have been eyeing the BJP.

Singh had reached Guwahati on Monday evening after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has declared the candidature of poet-turned-politician Kumar Vishwas from Amethi. Vishwas has been camping in the Uttar Pradesh town for the past two weeks and attacked Gandhi for ignoring the constituency for the past 10 years.

Selja, 51, is a known detractor of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Her nomination to the Rajya Sabha comes at a time when the Congress is in the midst of carrying out a rejig in the state’s organisation. As decks were cleared for her nomination late on Monday, Selja resigned as the Union minister for Social Justice and Empowerment. A prominent dalit face of the Congress in the northern state, Selja is tipped to be given an important responsibility in the party.

Besides Singh and Selja, the Congress has re-nominated Bhubaneshwar Kalita to the Rajya Sabha from Assam.

Singh and Kalita filed their nomination papers in Guwahati, while Selja submitted her papers to the returning officer in Chandigarh.

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