New Delhi, June 5
Ahead of the June 10 Rajya Sabha elections for 16 seats in four states, the Congress on Sunday appointed party observers in Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Congress Himachal Pradesh in charge Rajeev Shukla will oversee the RS election in Haryana, former Union Minister Pawan Bansal and Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo in Rajasthan, and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge in Maharashtra.
Parallel to this, the Congress continues to woo MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi, who had skipped the nomination filing process of official candidate Ajay Maken in Haryana, raising anxieties. Rahul Gandhi is personally said to have spoken to Bishnoi, who has kept his cards close to the chest.
In Rajasthan, too, the party is actively wooing Independents, who will determine the victor. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday met six MLAs, who were elected on the BSP ticket and later merged in the Congress, and claimed their support even though the BSP issued a whip yesterday asking them to vote for BJP nominees in the state. Independents hold the key in Rajasthan, where the Congress has shifted over 40-odd MLAs to an Udaipur resort to stall any horse-trading attempts and has claimed it has 126 MLAs behind it.
In a 90-member Haryana Assembly, the first winner needs 31 votes and the second 30, with Maken counting on all 31 Congress MLAs, including Bishnoi.
Elections are also to be held in Maharashtra for six seats and in Karnataka for four.
‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Oct 2
New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday announced it would undertake the Kanyakumari to Kashmir “Unite India” rally from October 2. The announcement was made by former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijay Singh, recently appointed convener of the Bharat Jodo Yatra by party president Sonia Gandhi. TNS
More candidates than seats
- In both Rajasthan and Haryana, the RS election race could go down to the wire, with more candidates in the fray than seats
- For four seats in Rajasthan, five persons are contesting
- While the BJP is backing former minister Ghansyham Tiwari and Independent media baron Subhash Chandra, the Congress has fielded Randeep Surjewala, Mukul Wasnik and Pramod Tiwari
- An RS winner in a 200-member Rajasthan Assembly needs votes of 41 MLAs, with the Congress having 108 legislators and the BJP 71
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