Former interim president of Congress, Sonia Gandhi, is strongly considering a move to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament, with sources indicating that she is likely to take this route through Rajasthan. This information emerged on Monday (February 12).
Earlier speculations hinted at Sonia Gandhi’s potential Rajya Sabha entry through the hill state of Himachal Pradesh. However, party sources informed journalists that she might refrain from participating in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, citing health-related reasons.
The decision not to contest the general elections in April-May 2024 and engage in campaigning is deemed challenging for the senior Congress leader. This has sparked significant debate in political circles, questioning whether the 78-year-old Sonia Gandhi will forego contesting from Rae Bareli in UP this time.
The uncertainty surrounding Sonia Gandhi’s potential withdrawal from Raebareli raises questions about her successor for this electoral constituency. Speculation has surfaced that her daughter and Congress leader, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, might be considered for the candidacy. Sources indicate that her name has been discussed in political circles in the past.
Raebareli holds particular significance for the Congress and the Gandhi family, forming a political seat deeply intertwined with their legacy. Before Sonia Gandhi, notable figures such as Firoz Gandhi (Jawaharlal Nehru’s son-in-law), Indira Gandhi, Arun Nehru, and Sheila Kaul (Kamala Nehru’s brother’s wife) contested from this seat. Throughout its history, only members of the Gandhi family and their relatives have vied for this political position.
Will Sonia Gandhi Opt For An MP Seat In Rajya Sabha? Here’s What State Congress Unit Says
The Madhya Pradesh Congress unit requested former party chief Sonia Gandhi to represent the state in the Rajya Sabha, news agency PTI reported on Monday. State unit president Jitu Patwari revealed on Monday that senior leader Kamal Nath recently met Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi, urging her to consider the party unit’s proposal.
“The Madhya Pradesh Congress wants Soniaji to represent the state in Rajya Sabha. All senior leaders from the state and MLAs are unanimous on this demand,” Patwari stated in a released statement, as reported by PTI.
According to the report, Patwari said that the party in the state believes that Sonia Gandhi, who had previously declined the post of prime minister, could strengthen the voice of the people if she goes to the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh.
He also mentioned that the state unit would support Kamal Nath if he expressed interest in becoming a member of the Rajya Sabha.
As five Rajya Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh are becoming vacant with the expiration of the incumbent members’ terms, the upcoming biennial Rajya Sabha polls on February 27 will be crucial. Out of these five seats, four are currently held by the ruling BJP, and one is held by the opposition Congress.
With 163 MLAs in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly, the BJP holds a majority, while the Congress has 66 members. Given its legislative strength, the Congress is poised to secure one Rajya Sabha seat from Madhya Pradesh.
Rajya Sabha Biennial Polls
The biennial elections are scheduled for February 27, covering 56 seats in the Rajya Sabha from 15 states, as the tenure of the current members is set to end in April. The Election Commission has designated February 15 as the last date for filing nomination papers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a swipe at the Congress, suggesting that its leaders, lacking confidence in contesting polls, were seeking the Rajya Sabha route to enter Parliament.
As the Congress considers its candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections, several names are being discussed, including Ajay Maken, Pawan Khera, Bhanwar Jitendra Singh, Arun Yadav, BV Srinivas, and Abhsihek Mani Singhvi. Speculations also arise regarding former President Sonia Gandhi opting for the Rajya Sabha route, marking the potential end of her tenure in the Lower House.
The party’s standing in Rajasthan appears strong, requiring only 30 out of 64 MLAs for a victory. Bhanwar Jitendra Singh, a close aide of Rahul Gandhi, is a frontrunner among the probable candidates to be sent from the desert state.
The party anticipates winning one seat each from Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh and two in Telangana. Decisions regarding the political implications and potential gains for the party in case of Sonia Gandhi’s Rajya Sabha entry are still under consideration.
Doonited Affiliated: Syndicate News Hunt