Gehlot-Pilot factionalism forcing Congress to offer Raj RS seat to Sonia Gandhi?
Jaipur, Feb 12 (IANS) Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has been invited by the party's Rajasthan unit to contest the Rajya Sabha elections from the state.
A proposal has been sent by both state President Govind Singh Dotasra and Leader of Opposition Tika Ram Jully, amid reported differences between the Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot camps on the candidate.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan and his tenure is now coming to an end. In such a situation, a demand has been made to send Sonia Gandhi to Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan in his place.
Before sending the proposal on Sunday, Dotasra and Jully discussed the matter with all the senior leaders and MLAs.
State Congress leaders have argued that Sonia Gandhi going to Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan will boost the morale of the leaders and workers here. However, she is yet to respond to the proposal.
Elections for three Rajya Sabha seats in Rajasthan are on February 27 and the last date for filing nomination is February 15, and thus, the Congress needs now decide on Rajya Sabha candidates in a day or two.
Leader of Opposition Jully said: "We have requested the national President to make Sonia Gandhi a Rajya Sabha candidate from Rajasthan. If Sonia Gandhi is made the candidate, it will infuse new enthusiasm among the Congress workers."
With the BJP having 115 seats and the Congress 70, the BJP will get two seats and Congress will win one.
While the tenures of Union Minister Bhupendra Yadav, and Manmohan Singh are getting completed, Kirodilal Meena resigned as MP after winning the Assembly polls.
Meanwhile, party sources said that veteran leader Jitendra Bhanwar Singh is also leading the charts as RS candidate from Rajasthan. He has been a favourite of Gandhi family since years and hence former Chief Minister Gehlot also favours his candidature. Singh had been successful in bringing Jully as leader of opposition, said sources.
The Pilot camp has reportedly backed the name of Ajay Maken. However, Gehlot camp doesn’t want Maken to be the candidate for he had openly supported Pilot during the September 25 episode when Gehlot loyalists had called a parallel meeting to the meeting called by Congress high command.
Meanwhile, a lobby in Congress is putting an effort to bring up Brahmin leadership and is trying to send Varun Purohit to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. Sources said that lack of Brahmin leadership in state is the reason this camp is pushing name of Purohit for the Upper House.
Meanwhile, looking in terms of Lok Sabha polls coming in and to avoid any further clash between different camps, the party leadership has requested Sonia Gandhi to contest the polls for the upper house. Apart from Rajasthan, the Congress' Madhya Pradesh unit has also sent a proposal to Sonia Gandhi to contest the polls.
Amid this, all eyes are set if Delhi decides on a local leader or sends someone from a different state to contest from the Rajasthan for the upper house, said sources.