Dehradun: After two Cabinet ministers, Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal, a close aide of Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, on Sunday put forth the name of former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna for the lone Rajya Sabha seat.
"Bahuguna is the best candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat and he should get the ticket," Kunjwal told reporters here.
The statement came on the eve of two-day tour of Ambika Soni, who state in-charge of Congress.
Before Kunjwal, Cabinet Ministers Harak Singh Rawat and Surendra Singh Negi had proposed the name of Bahuguna for the vacant seat.
With election to one vacant Rajya Sabha seat due on November 20, lobbying within the ruling Congress has intensified with the two factions of the party mounting pressure on the high-command for a decision of their choice.
Chief Minister Rawat wants the seat for one of his team members while Bahuguna wants it for himself, party functionaries have said requesting anonymity.
Bahuguna who is camping in Delhi had a meeting with party chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday where he is understood to have discussed the matter with her in detail while Rawat has met party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, party incharge for Uttarakhand Ambika Soni and co-incharge Sanjay Kapoor with his own shortlist of probables.
Rawat has paid several visits to Delhi over the past one week to get the seat for one of his chosen favourites, prompting Opposition BJP to advise him to reduce his visits to the party high command and concentrate on solving problems of people in calamity hit areas of the state.
Ever since Bahuguna had to step down as chief minister of the state to make way for Harish Rawat he is said to have been mounting pressure on the high command for a suitable compensation and a possible election to the Upper House is a golden opportunity.
Speculation is also rife about an outsider being finally declared as the party nominee.
Though a notification in this regard will be issued on November 3, Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi said the programme has already been drawn up.