The Congress tonight announced the names of seven candidates, including Motilal Vora, Murli Deora and Ranjib Biswal, for the February 7 Rajya Sabha polls, but there was no decision yet on the nomination of former Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) treasurer Vora (86) was renominated from Chhattisgarh, and Deora and Hussain Dalwai from Maharashtra. Biswal is the party's nominee from Odisha.
Other nominees were Viplove Thakur from Himachal Pradesh, Haji Abdul Salam from Manipur, and Wansuk Syiem from Meghalaya, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi announced today, a day after party president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi discussed the matter with AICC general secretaries in-charge of concerned states.
The party's candidates from Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh are expected to be announced tomorrow.
The last date for filing nominations for the polls is Tuesday (Jan 28), and the scrutiny will be held the next day. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is January 31.
Though Dikshit's nomination from Himachal Pradesh or Haryana was being talked about, the AICC has named Viplove Thakur from Himachal. The attention, therefore, has now shifted to Haryana.
According to sources, the Congress high command wants to accommodate Dikshit who has served as Delhi Chief Minister for 15 years.
Due to dwindling numbers of state legislators, Congress can send two members to the upper house from Maharashtra and Assam and one each from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
With the party's debacle in Rajasthan in the recent Assembly polls and earlier in Tamil Nadu, the party cannot have even a single member from these states.
Former Mahila Congress chief Prabha Thakur and former Union minister Jayanthi Natarajan are among the retiring members from these two states. The term of Union minister G K Vasan is also coming to an end.
Maharashtra tops the list with the polls to be held for seven seats. It is followed by TN and Andhra Pradesh (six each), West Bengal and Bihar (five each), Odisha and Gujarat (four each), Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan (three each), Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand (two each) and Himachal Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya (one each).