Suspense over Union Minister Anand Sharma over
New Delhi: Congress on Saturday ended the
suspense over the fate of Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma
by fielding him in the Rajya Sabha polls from Rajasthan, two
months after the expiry of his term in the House.
57-year old Sharma, who hails from Himachal Pradesh,
shifts to Rajasthan as his party was not not in a position to
get him re-elected from his home state, where BJP runs the
His term expired on April two and since then there has
been speculation over fielding him from Haryana, Madhya
Pradesh and Maharashtra. Sharma has to get re-elected to
retain his place in the Cabinet.
Maharashtra had witnessed protests from some local
Congressmen when talk of Sharma's nomination gained ground
Sharma's shifting to Rajasthan resulted in dashing
the hopes of former Union Minister Santosh Bagrodia who
failed to get renomination. This will be Sharma's third term
in the Upper House.
Former Rajasthan Minister Ask Ali Tak and retiring
Rajya Sabha member Narendra Budania were the two other
Congress nominees from Rajasthan.
Tak appears to have got the nomination as there was not
a single member from the minority community among the 20
Congress members from the state in the Lok Sabha.
Budania, who was elected to the Rajya Sabha last
year in a bypoll, belongs to the influential Jat community.
In Madhya Pradesh, PCC Chief Suresh Pachouri's attempts
to gain entry in the Rajya Sabha failed with the AICC deciding
in favour of Vijaylakshmi Sadho, a Dalit leader, who was a
minister in the Digvijay Singh government.
According to Congress sources, AICC general secretary
Digvijay Singh was not in favour of giving a ticket to
Pachouri, who has had four terms in the Rajya Sabha earlier.
Congress had yesterday announced the candidature of
Union Minister Ambika Soni from Punjab and its General
Secretary Mohsina Kidwai from Chhattisgarh for the biennial
elections to the Rajya Sabha.
The party had also nominated former Union Minister and
in charge of the Central Election Committee of the party Oscar
Fernandes from Karnataka.
AICC general secretary and Rajya Sabha member from
Karnataka B K Hariprasad whose term is coming to an end, also
failed to get a nomination from there as the party can get
only one member re-elected from there on the basis of its own