TMC, Cong to lock horns over Rajya Sabha elections

TMC, Cong to lock horns over Rajya Sabha elections

The Trinamool-Congress stalemate is unlikely to wear out soon as the two parties are all set to lock horns over the Rajya Sabha poll.

Both  parties fall short on the number of MLAs required to seal a victory for their respective nominees, with the Congress heavily banking on the Left’s preferential votes.

The TMC has announced Mukul Roy, Muhammed Nadimul Haq, Kunal Ghosh and Vivek Gupta as its candidates. With 183 MLAs, TMC has the required number for three Rajya Sabha seats, but fall short by 13 for the fourth seat. The Congress, on the other hand, has fielded Abdul Mannan. With 42 MLAs, they fall short of the magic figure by seven.

The Left parties, with 61 MLAs have declared only one candidate, hence have 12 surplus MLAs.

“The Left has 12 excess MLAs and if we get their support then we can easily win,” said a senior Congress leader. The state is likely to send six candidates to the Rajya Sabha,  voting for which would take place on March 30.

Ahluwalia denied ticket

In a significant decision, the BJP high command has denied Rajya Sabha ticket to the Upper House deputy leader of Opposition S S Ahluwalia from Bihar.  After  initial resistance, the BJP leader  has resigned to his fate as the BJP’s ally in the state, the JD-U, has refused to concede a third seat to the saffron party.

According to sources, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had insisted that the third seat must come JD-U.

Cong repeats candidates

The Congress has  repeated its candidates for the Rajya Sabha poll from Rajasthan, while the opposition BJP has opted for a neutral candidate for the three Rajya Sabha seats.

The Congress announced its national spokesperson and Supreme Court lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Jat leader Narendra Bhudania’s names as candidates for the ensuing poll.  Both the parties are divided in camps and chose to field candidates who would not trigger any heartburn in the local unit.

The BJP went in for a new face in Bhupendra Yadav, a Supreme Court lawyer closely involved in cases like cash-for-vote scam, Ayodhya land dispute and terror charges against RSS functionaries.

Congress achieved its end by repeating its sitting Rajya Sabha members. There are three seats in Rajasthan, which are going to polls in the elections for the upper House. The remomination of Singhvi was a foregone conclusion considering his close proximity to 10 Janpath. Besides Singhvi had the support of all leaders  cutting across factions as he had no local political interest in the state.

Bhudania, a Jat who hails from a politically-connected family in state. The fact that went in favour of Bhudania was he got only a year in the upper house as was elected on a bye election last year. Ever since ex-minister Mahipal Maderna was jailed, Congress has been trying to placate the numerically strong Jats.

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