She, along with Kiranmoy Nanda & Ramji Lal Suman, will contest on SP ticket
Former West Bengal Minister Kiranmoy Nanda, senior leader Ramji Lal Suman and actor Jaya Bachchan appear set to enter the Rajya Sabha on the Samajwadi Party ticket. Veteran Samajwadi leader Brij Bhushan Tiwari and Naresh Agarwal are also in the race. As of now, the party already has four members in the Upper House with Ram Gopal Yadav as the leader.
There will be 10 vacancies from Uttar Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha in April. With its new strength in the State Assembly, the SP will get a lion's share of those vacancies. Six seats will go to the SP, two to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and one each to the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal-Congress.
Mr. Nanda was a Minister in the previous Communist Party of India (Marxist) government in West Bengal after he merged his West Bengal Socialist Party with the SP. He was made SP general secretary in 2010 in place of Amar Singh, who quit the party following differences with party supremo Mulayam Singh.
Mr. Nanda's nomination is a clear indication that Mr. Mulayam Singh wants to keep his doors open for a third front, although speaking to journalists in the Parliament House on Monday he said he had not received any feelers for a non-Congress, non-BJP front.
Ms. Bachchan was offered re-nomination after her first term ended in 2010, but was reluctant to take the offer as Mr. Amar Singh had lamented that she was brought into the party by him and had chosen to stay back while he had had to leave the party. Veteran leader Mohan Singh was nominated in her place. Sources indicate that this time round, however, Ms. Bachchan is likely to accept the offer.
Mr. Brij Bhushan Tiwari retired from the Rajya Sabha in 2010, while Mr. Naresh Agarwal quit the BSP and joined the SP just before the Assembly elections.
Mr. Suman represented the Firozabad seat in the sixth, ninth, 13th and 14th Lok Sabha but lost in the last general elections.