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Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma don’t figure in Congress Rajya Sabha list

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra greets senior party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma during the party’s ‘Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir’ in Udaipur on May 13, 2022. Photo: AICC via PTI

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra greets senior party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma during the party’s ‘Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir’ in Udaipur on May 13, 2022. Photo: AICC via PTI

Ending the suspense over its Rajya Sabha nominees, the Congress late on Sunday evening released its list of 10 candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.

In the party ruled States of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, all the nominees are “outsiders,” negating demands from some quarters that berths from these poll-bound States should be given to local leaders.

The list doesn't include Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, both key members of G-23 or the ginger group that had been pushing for internal reforms and collective leadership in a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi in August 2020.

However, two G-23 leaders have been included as Mukul Wasnik will be fielded from Rajasthan while Vivek Tankha will come from Madhya Pradesh.

As reported by The Hindu on Saturday, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram will be the party's nominee from Tamil Nadu while Jairam Ramesh will be repeated from Karnataka.

Mr. Chidambaram, who earlier represented Maharashtra, now moves to his home State from where his son, Karti, is a Lok Sabha member.

Most of the nominees bear a clear imprint of former party chief Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Party's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala has been made a nominee from Rajasthan while Ajay Maken has been made a nominee from Haryana. Both the leaders are known for their proximity to Mr. Gandhi.

Similarly, leaders from Uttar Pradesh who are believed to be close to Ms. Vadra have been accommodated. These include Rajeev Shukla who will be fielded from Chhattisgarh, Imran Pratapgarhi from Maharashtra, and Pramod Tiwari from Rajasthan.

Mr. Tiwari’s daughter, Aradhana Mishra is also an MLA from Uttar Pradesh. 

Former Lok Sabha member from Supaul (Bihar), Ranjeet Ranjan, will be the second candidate from Chhattisgarh.

Though there was much speculation about rehabilitating key G-23 leaders like Mr. Azad and Mr. Sharma, they have been left out. However, both have been made members of the Political Advisory Group that will regularly advise Congress president Sonia Gandhi on a regular basis.

The most outspoken G-23 leader, Kapil Sibal, had quit the party earlier in the week and filed his nomination as an independent candidate with the backing of Samajwadi Party.


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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 9:42:31 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ghulam-nabi-azad-anand-sharma-fail-to-make-it-to-congress-rajya-sabha-list/article65474088.ece