Tamil Nadu

P. Chidambaram front runner in Congress race for its lone Rajya Sabha seat in T.N.

With the DMK allotting one Rajya Sabha seat to the Congress as per an informal agreement, made during the negotiations for seat sharing for the 2021 Assembly elections, there has been intense lobbying by aspirants in the party.

Former Union minister P. Chidambaram, who was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra in 2016, is the front runner for the post, according to sources. Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president K.S. Alagiri could also be in the running for the post, multiple sources in the Congress told The Hindu on Sunday.

Among other names doing the rounds are Praveen Chakravarty, chairman of the Data Analytics department of the Congress, who is known for his proximity to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, former TNCC president E.V.K.S. Elangovan and former Lok Sabha MP P. Viswanathan. AICC secretary Christopher Tilak’s name is also being discussed in the Congress circles.

“Mr. Chidambaram is likely to be the choice for the party as we need someone with his stature and knowledge in Parliament,” a source said. Multiple other leaders also echoed the sentiment. Mr. Chakravarty, whose name was doing the rounds previously too, also had a possibility of getting a leg in in the race within the Congress, they said. However, unlike most other aspirants, he is not known widely on the field or in the TNCC circles, as he is largely based out of New Delhi.

“Ultimately the candidate will need to have the stamp of approval from Mr. Rahul Gandhi. For all we know, there could be a surprise like in the case of Kerala, where Jebi Mather, the Mahila Congress leader, was nominated recently,” another leader said.

However, the party leadership is also wary of the criticism of practising dynastic politics that is likely to come in its way if it nominates Mr. Chidambaram, as his son Karti Chidambaram is also an MP representing Sivaganga constituency.

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Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 1:51:14 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/p-chidambaram-front-runner-in-congress-race-for-its-lone-rajya-sabha-seat-in-tn/article65417154.ece