Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma was on Saturday nominated by the Congress for the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. Sharma's Rajya Sabha tenure had expired recently. He was a member from Himachal Pradesh but the party could not get him re-elected from there as it did not have adequate strength in the state Assembly.
Other candidates announced by the Congress are Vijaylakshmi Sadho from Madhya Pradesh, former Rajasthan Minister Ask Ali Tak and Rajasthan Congress MP Narendra Budania, an AICC statement said. Sadho is a Dalit leader and was a minister in the Digvijay Singh government.
Congress had on Friday announced the candidature of Union Minister Ambika Soni from Punjab and its General Secretary Mohsina Kidwai from Chhattisgarh for the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha. The party had also nominated former Union Minister and in charge of the Central Election Committee of the party Oscar Fernandes from Karnataka.
Former Union Minister Santosh Bagrodia, who was a Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan, however, failed to get a renomination from the state this time.
Biennial elections to four Rajya Sabha seats in Rajasthan and bypoll to one will be held on June 17 following completion of the terms of four MPs and death of one sitting member.
AICC general secretary and Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka B K Hariprsad whose term is coming to an end, also failed to get a nomination from there as the party can get only one member re-elected from there on the basis of its own strength.
The party has announced the renomination of senior leader Oscar Fernandes from the state. JD-S chief H D Devegowda, with whom the party has been negotiating hard to seek its support for the second seat it wanted to contest from there, is learnt to be against Hariprasad. In Andhra Pradesh, Girish Sanghi, who was elected to the Upper House last time met the same fate.
Five of the Rajya Sabha members from the state are retiring but the party has the numerical strength to get only four elected. Except Sanghi, the names of all four candidates including Union Minister Jairam Ramesh have already been nominated from the state.
In Madhya Pradesh, PCC chief Suresh Pachouri has been an aspirant for long and in the last UPA government, he had to give up his ministership following failure to find a berth in the Upper House.
According to Congress sources, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh was not in favour of giving a ticket to Pachouri, who has had four terms in the Rajya Sabha earlier. PTI