Congress general secretaries Digvijaya Singh and Madhusudan Mistry are among the party nominees for the forthcoming Rajya Sabha elections, a clear indication that they will not contest from their Lok Sabha constituencies in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. They will continue to focus on organisational work ahead of the general election.
From Andhra Pradesh, the party has re-nominated K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao, M.A. Khan and T.Subbarami Reddy, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said, releasing the second list on Monday.
The surprise name that gained currency is that of Lok Sabha MP from Sultanpur Sanjay Singh for one of the two Assam Rajya Sabha seats, so that, party sources said, he can be free to campaign in Amethi. This comes amidst speculation that the Raja of Amethi was being wooed by the BJP to cross over. Mr. Singh, who met Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday, is already in Guwahati.
Mr. Digvijaya Singh, who took a vow in 2003 not to take up any official position after he lost Madhya Pradesh after a decade as Chief Minister, it was expected, would be contesting the Lok Sabha elections this time. Similarly, Mr. Mistry, who has been nominated from Gujarat, said just last week that he was looking forward to enter the fray in the general election.
Meanwhile, hours before the last day for nominations, January 28, suspense on the names of four candidates continued — two from Assam, one from Jharkhand and one from Haryana.
The second name for Assam will, in all likelihood, party sources said, be Bhubaneshwar Kalita, a sitting RS MP who is also the PCC chief. There is, however, another contender — Kirip Chaliha.
Union Minister Kumari Selja was on Tuesday named Congress nominee for Rajya Sabha elections, putting an end to speculation that former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit could be brought to the Upper House from Haryana.
Congress also nominated Sultanpur MP Sanjay Singh from Assam besides re-nominating Assam PCC chief Bhubaneswar Kalita from the state.
Ms. Dikshit was being talked about as a probable candidate from Haryana where several local leaders were also aspirants. The former Delhi Chief Minister was also being talked about as the probable nominee from Himachal Pradesh but there, too the high command brought Viplove Thakur as a candidate.
Sanjay Singh hails from Amethi and holds considerable influence there. Amethi is the constituency of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi while Sonia Gandhi contests from neighbouring Rae Bareli. There was earlier speculation that Mr. Singh could join the BJP.