Congress factions in Uttarakhand vying for vacant Rajya Sabha berth

 Congress is unlikely to field an outsider as its candidate for the vacant Rajya Sabha seat in Uttarakhand for which voting will be held on November 20, party sources said.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 06, 2014, 00:04 AM IST

New Delhi: Congress is unlikely to field an outsider as its candidate for the vacant Rajya Sabha seat in Uttarakhand for which voting will be held on November 20, party sources said.

Lobbying is on within the ruling Congress for the seat with the two factions of the party in Uttarakhand mounting pressure on the high command for a decision in their favour.

Chief Minister Harish Rawat wants the seat for one of his supporters while his predecessor in the top Cabinet chair, Vijay Bahuguna, wants the Rajya Sabha berth for himself.

Reports had it that Rawat's shortlist of probables includes Pradesh Congress chief Kishore Upadhyay and former party MP from Almora, Pradeep Tamta.

Election to the Rajya Sabha seat was necessitated after Bhagat Singh Koshiyari of BJP was elected to Lok Sabha. There are three Rajya Sabha seats in Uttarakhand, the other two being represented by Tarun Vijay of BJP and Mahendra Singh Mahra of Congress.

While speculation is rife that an outsider may be finally declared as the party's nominee, a central leader said that there was no such possibility.

Nov. 10 is the last date for the filing of nominations for the vacant Rajya Sabha seat.

Meanwhile, local body representatives of the party from Uttarakhand today met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

Rawat and AICC General Secretary Ambika Soni, the in- charge for party affairs in the hill state, were also present during the meeting.