Sonia Gandhi may shift to Upper House; party yet to make final call | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Sonia Gandhi may shift to Rajya Sabha, party yet to take final call

Feb 13, 2024 11:09 PM IST

If Sonia Gandhi settles for Rajya Sabha seat, it would be the first stint in Upper House for the 77-year-old leader, who is a five-term lawmaker of Lok Sabha.

New Delhi: Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi may contest a Rajya Sabha seat, preferably from north India, two senior Congress leaders indicated on Monday, even as they said a final decision would be taken shortly.

Congress party is yet to make a final decision on the names of the candidates for the biennial elections for 56 seats from 15 states. (PTI) PREMIUM
Congress party is yet to make a final decision on the names of the candidates for the biennial elections for 56 seats from 15 states. (PTI)

If Gandhi settles for a Rajya Sabha seat, it would be the first stint in the Upper House for the 77-year-old leader, who is a five-term lawmaker of the Lok Sabha.

Top Congress leaders including Gandhi, the party’s national alliance committee members Mukul Wasnik and Salman Khurshid, and treasurer Ajay Maken met party chief Mallikarjun Kharge at his residence to discuss the names of party candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections on February 27. General secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal was also present in the meeting on Monday.

Read Here: BJP picks 14 names for Rajya Sabha elections

"No decision has been taken in the meeting but detailed discussions have taken place,” said a leader who asked not to be named.

The presence of Wasnik and Khurshid also indicated that the leaders discussed the ongoing seat adjustments between the Congress and INDIA partners.

The Congress is yet to announce any candidate for the biennial elections for 56 seats from 15 states. The last date for filing nominations is February 15. They are likely to win 11 seats in total, the leader said.

Read more: Nitish Kumar wins Bihar floor test to start fresh CM innings

The Congress leaders discussed the political situation and the status of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA). In the meeting, some leaders pointed out how the Enforcement Directorate is being used to weaken the INDIA bloc, said the leader quoted above, possibly referring to Ashok Chavan’s exit on Monday and the summons to former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah as the National Conference (NC) and the Congress are set to finalise the seat pact in the Union Territory.

Rajya Sabha seat from north India for Sonia Gandhi?

With four key leaders of the party — Kharge, former chief Rahul Gandhi, Venugopal and communications chief Jairam Ramesh — representing south India, a second leader considered close to the Gandhi family said that Gandhi might prefer a seat from north India.

Gandhi, so far, has remained an MP from Uttar Pradesh. She was first elected from both Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi and Karnataka’s Bellary in 1999 but retained the former seat. In 2004, she shifted to Rae Bareli as Rahul Gandhi contested from Amethi.

Read more: On Bharat Ratna announcements, Sonia Gandhi says: 'I welcome them, why not?'

Treasurer Ajay Maken and the party’s ace legal brain Abhishek Singhvi are also expected to get Rajya Sabha tickets. While Maken lost his previous bid in Haryana in 2022, Singhvi won from West Bengal with the support of both the Congress and the Trinamool Congress. This time, Singhvi would have to be accommodated in another seat as the Congress has zero lawmakers in Bengal.

The Congress has to name candidates from Karnataka, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. It is expected to gain one seat in the upcoming round of Rajya Sabha polls. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance is expected to improve its tally by two seats from the current position of 115seats.

From Himachal Pradesh to Telangana and Rajasthan, a number of state Congress units have urged Gandhi to contest from their state. ”We have requested Kharge to nominate Sonia Gandhi as the Rajya Sabha candidate from Rajasthan. If Sonia Gandhi is made the candidate, it will infuse new enthusiasm among the Congress workers,” said leader of Opposition in the Rajasthan assembly, Tika Ram Jully.

A Congress leader familiar with the discussions said a proposal in this regard was sent to the party high command on Sunday. However, the state Congress unit is yet to receive any response from the central leadership.

Of the three seats falling vacant in Rajasthan, two are with the BJP and one with the Congress. The BJP is certain to win two and the Congress one. Former PM Manmohan Singh, who is unlikely to return to public life, held the Upper House seat from Rajasthan from the Congress.

.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections Result, Lok Sabha Election 2024 Live, Lok Sabha Elections Results 2024, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.

Continue reading with HT Premium Subscription

Daily E Paper I Premium Articles I Brunch E Magazine I Daily Infographics
freemium
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, May 30, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On